The Anatomy of the Brachial Plexus

The brachial plexus is a network of nerves located in the shoulder that originates from the neck. These nerves divide into several distal nerves that end in the arms and hands. The nerves of the brachial also extend to the skin, offering sensory reactions. The nerve network can be categorized into distinct parts: trunks, divisions, cords, and branches.


Types of Brachial Plexus Injuries

Several types of injuries can occur to the brachial plexus. These types include injuries from compression, tearing, or reduced blood blow. Common symptoms of brachial plexus injury include pain in the shoulder and arm. Patients may also experience numbness and weakness.


Diagnosis of Brachial Plexus Nerve Injury

The diagnosis of nerve injury is performed using a few imaging techniques. Brachial plexus injuries can sometimes occur during a medical procedure. Certain surgical or medical procedures can have brachial complications including paralysis or numbness.

Understand the complexities of brachial plexus injuries


Activity-Based Causes of Brachial Plexus Injury

Activity-based causes of brachial plexus injury are typically linked to forms of trauma. This could include car accidents, falls, or athletic injuries. Infants may also suffer brachial plexus nerve injury following a difficult birth.


Brachial Plexus Injury Post Shoulder Surgery

Neurological complications after shoulder surgery may also occur. This occurs in small percentages of shoulder repair and replacements surgeries, including shoulder arthroplasties. Patients’ injuries are possibly linked to their positioning during surgery. Surgical tools and anaesthesia may also occasionally result in injury.


Brachial Plexus Injury Complications

Brachial plexus injuries can cause patients to suffer partial or complete loss of sensation. Paralysis of the arm, severe pain, or loss of muscle control can last for longer periods or be permanent. In instances of malpractice or negligence, attorneys may have opportunities to secure damages for their clients suffering from brachial plexus injuries.


This Litigation Guide was medically reviewed by Rena Zheng, M.D.