The brachial plexus is the nerve network that transmits signals from spinal cord to shoulder, arm and hand. A brachial plexus injury happens when these nerves are damaged – stretched, compressed, in severe cases, get ripped apart or torn away from the spinal cord.
Minor brachial plexus injuries are called stingers or burners, common in contact sports such as wrestling and football. Babies may also sustain brachial plexus injury at the time of birth. Inflammation and tumours are other conditions that may cause damage to the brachial plexus network of nerves.
Auto or motorcycle accidents account for most severe brachial plexus injuries. Severe brachial plexus injuries can paralyse your arm with complete loss of function and sensation. Nerve grafts, nerve transfers or muscle transfers are done surgically to restore function.