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Brachial Plexus Injuries

The brachial plexus Brachial Plexus The large network of nerve fibers which distributes the innervation of the upper extremity. The brachial plexus extends from the neck into the axilla. In humans, the nerves of the plexus usually originate from the lower cervical and the first thoracic spinal cord segments (c5-c8 and T1), but variations are not uncommon. Peripheral Nerve Injuries in the Cervicothoracic Region is a network of nerves that originate from the lower cervical and upper thoracic nerve roots. The causes of brachial plexopathies include traumatic injuries, birth-related injuries, iatrogenic Iatrogenic Any adverse condition in a patient occurring as the result of treatment by a physician, surgeon, or other health professional, especially infections acquired by a patient during the course of treatment. Anterior Cord Syndrome procedures, neoplastic processes, and previous treatment with radiation Radiation Emission or propagation of acoustic waves (sound), electromagnetic energy waves (such as light; radio waves; gamma rays; or x-rays), or a stream of subatomic particles (such as electrons; neutrons; protons; or alpha particles). Osteosarcoma. Patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship present with sensory Sensory Neurons which conduct nerve impulses to the central nervous system. Nervous System: Histology and motor Motor Neurons which send impulses peripherally to activate muscles or secretory cells. Nervous System: Histology deficits related to the site of the lesion and the nerves involved. Diagnosis is made based on clinical findings, imaging, and electrodiagnostic studies. Treatment is related to the underlying cause and may be medical or surgical.

Last updated: 1 Oct, 2021

Editorial responsibility: Stanley Oiseth, Lindsay Jones, Evelin Maza

Overview

Anatomy

The brachial plexus Brachial Plexus The large network of nerve fibers which distributes the innervation of the upper extremity. The brachial plexus extends from the neck into the axilla. In humans, the nerves of the plexus usually originate from the lower cervical and the first thoracic spinal cord segments (c5-c8 and T1), but variations are not uncommon. Peripheral Nerve Injuries in the Cervicothoracic Region is a network of nerves from which all the motor Motor Neurons which send impulses peripherally to activate muscles or secretory cells. Nervous System: Histology and sensory Sensory Neurons which conduct nerve impulses to the central nervous system. Nervous System: Histology nerves of the upper extremity arise. It is formed by the nerve roots from C5 to T1 and divides into:

  • Trunks:
    • Upper trunk: formed by the C5 and C6 roots
    • Middle trunk: formed by the C7 root 
    • Lower trunk: formed by the C8 and T1 roots
  • Divisions: Each trunk divides into an anterior and posterior division.
  • Cords, branches, and nerves:
    • Lateral cord branches into:
      • Musculocutaneous nerve Musculocutaneous Nerve A major nerve of the upper extremity. The fibers of the musculocutaneous nerve originate in the lower cervical spinal cord (usually C5 to C7), travel via the lateral cord of the brachial plexus, and supply sensory and motor innervation to the upper arm, elbow, and forearm. Axilla and Brachial Plexus: Anatomy 
      • Median nerve Median Nerve A major nerve of the upper extremity. In humans, the fibers of the median nerve originate in the lower cervical and upper thoracic spinal cord (usually C6 to T1), travel via the brachial plexus, and supply sensory and motor innervation to parts of the forearm and hand. Cubital Fossa: Anatomy
    • Posterior cord branches into:
    • Medial cord branches into: 
      • Median nerve Median Nerve A major nerve of the upper extremity. In humans, the fibers of the median nerve originate in the lower cervical and upper thoracic spinal cord (usually C6 to T1), travel via the brachial plexus, and supply sensory and motor innervation to parts of the forearm and hand. Cubital Fossa: Anatomy 
      • Ulnar nerve Ulnar Nerve A major nerve of the upper extremity. In humans, the fibers of the ulnar nerve originate in the lower cervical and upper thoracic spinal cord (usually C7 to T1), travel via the medial cord of the brachial plexus, and supply sensory and motor innervation to parts of the hand and forearm. Axilla and Brachial Plexus: Anatomy
      • Medial cutaneous nerves of the arm Arm The arm, or “upper arm” in common usage, is the region of the upper limb that extends from the shoulder to the elbow joint and connects inferiorly to the forearm through the cubital fossa. It is divided into 2 fascial compartments (anterior and posterior). Arm: Anatomy and forearm Forearm The forearm is the region of the upper limb between the elbow and the wrist. The term “forearm” is used in anatomy to distinguish this area from the arm, a term that is commonly used to describe the entire upper limb. The forearm consists of 2 long bones (the radius and the ulna), the interosseous membrane, and multiple arteries, nerves, and muscles. Forearm: Anatomy
    • Suprascapular nerve Suprascapular nerve Axilla and Brachial Plexus: Anatomy: arises from the upper trunk
    • Dorsal scapular nerve Dorsal scapular nerve Axilla and Brachial Plexus: Anatomy: arises from the C5 root
    • Long thoracic nerve Long thoracic nerve Axilla and Brachial Plexus: Anatomy: arises from the C5, C6, and C7 roots
Brachial plexus

Schematic of the brachial plexus Brachial Plexus The large network of nerve fibers which distributes the innervation of the upper extremity. The brachial plexus extends from the neck into the axilla. In humans, the nerves of the plexus usually originate from the lower cervical and the first thoracic spinal cord segments (c5-c8 and T1), but variations are not uncommon. Peripheral Nerve Injuries in the Cervicothoracic Region and its branches

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Epidemiology

  • Brachial plexus Brachial Plexus The large network of nerve fibers which distributes the innervation of the upper extremity. The brachial plexus extends from the neck into the axilla. In humans, the nerves of the plexus usually originate from the lower cervical and the first thoracic spinal cord segments (c5-c8 and T1), but variations are not uncommon. Peripheral Nerve Injuries in the Cervicothoracic Region syndromes are rare:
    • Occur in 0.4% of patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with cancer
    • Occur in 2% to 5% of patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship exposed to radiation Radiation Emission or propagation of acoustic waves (sound), electromagnetic energy waves (such as light; radio waves; gamma rays; or x-rays), or a stream of subatomic particles (such as electrons; neutrons; protons; or alpha particles). Osteosarcoma
  • Incidence Incidence The number of new cases of a given disease during a given period in a specified population. It also is used for the rate at which new events occur in a defined population. It is differentiated from prevalence, which refers to all cases in the population at a given time. Measures of Disease Frequency of idiopathic Idiopathic Dermatomyositis brachial plexopathy Plexopathy Neuropathy is a nerve pathology presenting with sensory, motor, or autonomic impairment secondary to dysfunction of the affected nerve. The peripheral nerves are derived from several plexuses, with the brachial and lumbosacral plexuses supplying the major innervation to the extremities. Mononeuropathy (affecting a single nerve) and plexopathy (affecting the plexus) can occur from trauma, compression, and systemic diseases. Mononeuropathy and Plexopathy or brachial amyotrophy is 2–3 per 100,000.
  • The incidence Incidence The number of new cases of a given disease during a given period in a specified population. It also is used for the rate at which new events occur in a defined population. It is differentiated from prevalence, which refers to all cases in the population at a given time. Measures of Disease Frequency ratio for traumatic injuries is 2:1, men to women.

Classification

  • Based on the location of the injury
  • Supraclavicular preganglionic:
    • Associated with avulsion of nerve roots
    • Usually results in permanent motor Motor Neurons which send impulses peripherally to activate muscles or secretory cells. Nervous System: Histology and sensory Sensory Neurons which conduct nerve impulses to the central nervous system. Nervous System: Histology deficits
    • Denervation of neck muscles Neck muscles The muscles of the neck can be divided into 3 groups: anterior, lateral, and posterior neck muscles. Each of the groups is subdivided according to function and the precise location of the muscles. Muscles of the Neck: Anatomy is common.
  • Supraclavicular postganglionic:
    • Often due to traction injuries
    • Nerve roots remain intact.
  • Infraclavicular: involves individual branches of the plexus

Pathogenesis

The brachial plexus Brachial Plexus The large network of nerve fibers which distributes the innervation of the upper extremity. The brachial plexus extends from the neck into the axilla. In humans, the nerves of the plexus usually originate from the lower cervical and the first thoracic spinal cord segments (c5-c8 and T1), but variations are not uncommon. Peripheral Nerve Injuries in the Cervicothoracic Region can be injured by several mechanisms:

  • Nerve traction:
    • Also known as stretch injury (as seen in delivery of infants)
    • Occurs from sudden severe pull or tension of the nerves
  • Nerve compression Compression Blunt Chest Trauma
    • Uncommon: The brachial plexus Brachial Plexus The large network of nerve fibers which distributes the innervation of the upper extremity. The brachial plexus extends from the neck into the axilla. In humans, the nerves of the plexus usually originate from the lower cervical and the first thoracic spinal cord segments (c5-c8 and T1), but variations are not uncommon. Peripheral Nerve Injuries in the Cervicothoracic Region is protected by bony structures.
    • Occurs in contact sports
  • Overt nerve transection with major trauma
  • Ischemia Ischemia A hypoperfusion of the blood through an organ or tissue caused by a pathologic constriction or obstruction of its blood vessels, or an absence of blood circulation. Ischemic Cell Damage resulting from occlusion of small intraneural vessels due to:
    • Inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation 
    • Radiation Radiation Emission or propagation of acoustic waves (sound), electromagnetic energy waves (such as light; radio waves; gamma rays; or x-rays), or a stream of subatomic particles (such as electrons; neutrons; protons; or alpha particles). Osteosarcoma
    • Metabolic abnormalities
  • Direct nerve invasion by cancer cells 

Clinical Presentation

Clinical symptom onset may vary from acute to insidious, with shoulder or upper arm Arm The arm, or “upper arm” in common usage, is the region of the upper limb that extends from the shoulder to the elbow joint and connects inferiorly to the forearm through the cubital fossa. It is divided into 2 fascial compartments (anterior and posterior). Arm: Anatomy pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways described as “electric shock Shock Shock is a life-threatening condition associated with impaired circulation that results in tissue hypoxia. The different types of shock are based on the underlying cause: distributive (↑ cardiac output (CO), ↓ systemic vascular resistance (SVR)), cardiogenic (↓ CO, ↑ SVR), hypovolemic (↓ CO, ↑ SVR), obstructive (↓ CO), and mixed. Types of Shock-like” or a burning sensation. 

Traumatic plexopathies

  • Trauma from injuries:
    • Open: knife or gunshot wounds Gunshot wounds Disruption of structural continuity of the body as a result of the discharge of firearms. Penetrating Chest Injury, animal bites
    • Closed: motorcycle/automobile accidents, falls from a height, hematomas
    • Manifestations correlate to the nerve(s) affected by the injury.
  • Trauma from sports injuries: burner (also called stinger)
    • Caused by downward traction of the shoulder, involving the upper trunk of the brachial plexus Brachial Plexus The large network of nerve fibers which distributes the innervation of the upper extremity. The brachial plexus extends from the neck into the axilla. In humans, the nerves of the plexus usually originate from the lower cervical and the first thoracic spinal cord segments (c5-c8 and T1), but variations are not uncommon. Peripheral Nerve Injuries in the Cervicothoracic Region
    • Most often due to tackling
    • Manifests as transient numbness, paresthesias Paresthesias Subjective cutaneous sensations (e.g., cold, warmth, tingling, pressure, etc.) that are experienced spontaneously in the absence of stimulation. Posterior Cord Syndrome, or weakness in the arm Arm The arm, or “upper arm” in common usage, is the region of the upper limb that extends from the shoulder to the elbow joint and connects inferiorly to the forearm through the cubital fossa. It is divided into 2 fascial compartments (anterior and posterior). Arm: Anatomy
    • Usually brief and self-limited; occasionally, recovery may take days to weeks
  • Backpack palsy Palsy paralysis of an area of the body, thus incapable of voluntary movement Cranial Nerve Palsies (also known as rucksack paralysis or cadet palsy Palsy paralysis of an area of the body, thus incapable of voluntary movement Cranial Nerve Palsies):
    • Affects the upper trunk (C5–C6)
    • Presents after wearing a backpack or similar apparatus
    • Usually painless, due to stretch or compression Compression Blunt Chest Trauma of the nerve fibers Nerve Fibers Slender processes of neurons, including the axons and their glial envelopes (myelin sheath). Nerve fibers conduct nerve impulses to and from the central nervous system. Nervous System: Histology
    • Symptoms: 
      • Weakness of shoulder abduction Abduction Examination of the Upper Limbs and elevation
      • Weakness in extension Extension Examination of the Upper Limbs of the forearm Forearm The forearm is the region of the upper limb between the elbow and the wrist. The term “forearm” is used in anatomy to distinguish this area from the arm, a term that is commonly used to describe the entire upper limb. The forearm consists of 2 long bones (the radius and the ulna), the interosseous membrane, and multiple arteries, nerves, and muscles. Forearm: Anatomy, wrist, and fingers 
      • Some sensory Sensory Neurons which conduct nerve impulses to the central nervous system. Nervous System: Histology loss in the same distribution
      • Most patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship recover fully in a few months.
  • Obstetric brachial plexus Brachial Plexus The large network of nerve fibers which distributes the innervation of the upper extremity. The brachial plexus extends from the neck into the axilla. In humans, the nerves of the plexus usually originate from the lower cervical and the first thoracic spinal cord segments (c5-c8 and T1), but variations are not uncommon. Peripheral Nerve Injuries in the Cervicothoracic Region palsies:

Nontraumatic plexopathies

Neuralgic amyotrophy Neuralgic amyotrophy Mononeuropathy and Plexopathy (progressive wasting of muscle tissues):

  • Inflammatory disorder of the brachial plexus Brachial Plexus The large network of nerve fibers which distributes the innervation of the upper extremity. The brachial plexus extends from the neck into the axilla. In humans, the nerves of the plexus usually originate from the lower cervical and the first thoracic spinal cord segments (c5-c8 and T1), but variations are not uncommon. Peripheral Nerve Injuries in the Cervicothoracic Region
  • Also known as Parsonage-Turner syndrome Parsonage-Turner Syndrome Mononeuropathy and Plexopathy or idiopathic Idiopathic Dermatomyositis brachial plexopathy Plexopathy Neuropathy is a nerve pathology presenting with sensory, motor, or autonomic impairment secondary to dysfunction of the affected nerve. The peripheral nerves are derived from several plexuses, with the brachial and lumbosacral plexuses supplying the major innervation to the extremities. Mononeuropathy (affecting a single nerve) and plexopathy (affecting the plexus) can occur from trauma, compression, and systemic diseases. Mononeuropathy and Plexopathy
  • May affect Affect The feeling-tone accompaniment of an idea or mental representation. It is the most direct psychic derivative of instinct and the psychic representative of the various bodily changes by means of which instincts manifest themselves. Psychiatric Assessment both children and adults
  • Sudden onset of shoulder/upper arm Arm The arm, or “upper arm” in common usage, is the region of the upper limb that extends from the shoulder to the elbow joint and connects inferiorly to the forearm through the cubital fossa. It is divided into 2 fascial compartments (anterior and posterior). Arm: Anatomy pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways → progressive weakness and atrophy Atrophy Decrease in the size of a cell, tissue, organ, or multiple organs, associated with a variety of pathological conditions such as abnormal cellular changes, ischemia, malnutrition, or hormonal changes. Cellular Adaptation

Hereditary brachial plexopathy Plexopathy Neuropathy is a nerve pathology presenting with sensory, motor, or autonomic impairment secondary to dysfunction of the affected nerve. The peripheral nerves are derived from several plexuses, with the brachial and lumbosacral plexuses supplying the major innervation to the extremities. Mononeuropathy (affecting a single nerve) and plexopathy (affecting the plexus) can occur from trauma, compression, and systemic diseases. Mononeuropathy and Plexopathy:

  • Autosomal dominant Autosomal dominant Autosomal inheritance, both dominant and recessive, refers to the transmission of genes from the 22 autosomal chromosomes. Autosomal dominant diseases are expressed when only 1 copy of the dominant allele is inherited. Autosomal Recessive and Autosomal Dominant Inheritance 
  • Characterized by painful, recurrent brachial plexopathies
  • Features: short stature, hypotelorism, unusual skin Skin The skin, also referred to as the integumentary system, is the largest organ of the body. The skin is primarily composed of the epidermis (outer layer) and dermis (deep layer). The epidermis is primarily composed of keratinocytes that undergo rapid turnover, while the dermis contains dense layers of connective tissue. Skin: Structure and Functions folds, creases on the neck Neck The part of a human or animal body connecting the head to the rest of the body. Peritonsillar Abscess
  • Rare 

Neoplastic brachial plexopathy Plexopathy Neuropathy is a nerve pathology presenting with sensory, motor, or autonomic impairment secondary to dysfunction of the affected nerve. The peripheral nerves are derived from several plexuses, with the brachial and lumbosacral plexuses supplying the major innervation to the extremities. Mononeuropathy (affecting a single nerve) and plexopathy (affecting the plexus) can occur from trauma, compression, and systemic diseases. Mononeuropathy and Plexopathy:

  • Presents with pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways in the shoulder/ axilla Axilla The axilla is a pyramid-shaped space located between the upper thorax and the arm. The axilla has a base, an apex, and 4 walls (anterior, medial, lateral, posterior). The base of the pyramid is made up of the axillary skin. The apex is the axillary inlet, located between the 1st rib, superior border of the scapula, and clavicle. Axilla and Brachial Plexus: Anatomy
  • Types:
    • Primary: due to neurogenic tumors (e.g., schwannomas, neurofibromas)
    • Secondary: due to regional lymph nodes Lymph Nodes They are oval or bean shaped bodies (1 – 30 mm in diameter) located along the lymphatic system. Lymphatic Drainage System: Anatomy causing nerve compression Compression Blunt Chest Trauma; most commonly due to breast and lung cancers
    • Paraneoplastic: due to demyelinating injury from antibodies Antibodies Immunoglobulins (Igs), also known as antibodies, are glycoprotein molecules produced by plasma cells that act in immune responses by recognizing and binding particular antigens. The various Ig classes are IgG (the most abundant), IgM, IgE, IgD, and IgA, which differ in their biologic features, structure, target specificity, and distribution. Immunoglobulins: Types and Functions against the myelin sheath, associated with Hodgkin lymphoma Lymphoma A general term for various neoplastic diseases of the lymphoid tissue. Imaging of the Mediastinum
  • C8 or T1 nerve root involvement:
    • Seen with Pancoast tumors (usually non–small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC))
    • Sympathetic neurons Neurons The basic cellular units of nervous tissue. Each neuron consists of a body, an axon, and dendrites. Their purpose is to receive, conduct, and transmit impulses in the nervous system. Nervous System: Histology run through the brachial plexus Brachial Plexus The large network of nerve fibers which distributes the innervation of the upper extremity. The brachial plexus extends from the neck into the axilla. In humans, the nerves of the plexus usually originate from the lower cervical and the first thoracic spinal cord segments (c5-c8 and T1), but variations are not uncommon. Peripheral Nerve Injuries in the Cervicothoracic Region over the lung apex.
    • Clinical symptoms: Horner syndrome Horner syndrome Horner syndrome is a condition resulting from an interruption of the sympathetic innervation of the eyes. The syndrome is usually idiopathic but can be directly caused by head and neck trauma, cerebrovascular disease, or a tumor of the CNS. Horner Syndrome ( ptosis Ptosis Cranial Nerve Palsies, miosis Miosis Pupil: Physiology and Abnormalities, and anhidrosis) due to an interruption of the cervical sympathetic chain supply to the eye

Radiation Radiation Emission or propagation of acoustic waves (sound), electromagnetic energy waves (such as light; radio waves; gamma rays; or x-rays), or a stream of subatomic particles (such as electrons; neutrons; protons; or alpha particles). Osteosarcoma-induced brachial plexopathy Plexopathy Neuropathy is a nerve pathology presenting with sensory, motor, or autonomic impairment secondary to dysfunction of the affected nerve. The peripheral nerves are derived from several plexuses, with the brachial and lumbosacral plexuses supplying the major innervation to the extremities. Mononeuropathy (affecting a single nerve) and plexopathy (affecting the plexus) can occur from trauma, compression, and systemic diseases. Mononeuropathy and Plexopathy:

  • May not present until months or years after radiation Radiation Emission or propagation of acoustic waves (sound), electromagnetic energy waves (such as light; radio waves; gamma rays; or x-rays), or a stream of subatomic particles (such as electrons; neutrons; protons; or alpha particles). Osteosarcoma
  • Due to direct axonal damage, demyelination Demyelination Multiple Sclerosis, microvascular infarction, and fibrosis Fibrosis Any pathological condition where fibrous connective tissue invades any organ, usually as a consequence of inflammation or other injury. Bronchiolitis Obliterans
  • Risk ↑ with concurrent chemotherapy Chemotherapy Osteosarcoma

Thoracic outlet Thoracic Outlet Thoracic Outlet Syndrome syndrome ( TOS TOS Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) is a broad term used for a spectrum of syndromes related to the general region of the thoracic outlet, which involves the compression or irritation of elements of the brachial plexus, subclavian artery, or subclavian vein. Thoracic Outlet Syndrome):

  • Due to compression Compression Blunt Chest Trauma of blood vessels and nerves as they pass between the clavicle Clavicle A bone on the ventral side of the shoulder girdle, which in humans is commonly called the collar bone. Clavicle Fracture and the 1st rib 
  • Causes:
    • Accidents
    • Repetitive-use type of occupational injuries
    • Anatomic variants
    • Hypertrophy Hypertrophy General increase in bulk of a part or organ due to cell enlargement and accumulation of fluids and secretions, not due to tumor formation, nor to an increase in the number of cells (hyperplasia). Cellular Adaptation of the scalene or pectoralis minor muscle in weight lifters and athletes
  • Symptoms vary but may include:
    • Muscle weakness
    • Numbness
    • Ischemic changes
    • Edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema of the upper extremities
    • Venous thrombosis Thrombosis Formation and development of a thrombus or blood clot in the blood vessel. Epidemic Typhus

Diabetes Diabetes Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a metabolic disease characterized by hyperglycemia and dysfunction of the regulation of glucose metabolism by insulin. Type 1 DM is diagnosed mostly in children and young adults as the result of autoimmune destruction of β cells in the pancreas and the resulting lack of insulin. Type 2 DM has a significant association with obesity and is characterized by insulin resistance. Diabetes Mellitus-related brachial plexopathy Plexopathy Neuropathy is a nerve pathology presenting with sensory, motor, or autonomic impairment secondary to dysfunction of the affected nerve. The peripheral nerves are derived from several plexuses, with the brachial and lumbosacral plexuses supplying the major innervation to the extremities. Mononeuropathy (affecting a single nerve) and plexopathy (affecting the plexus) can occur from trauma, compression, and systemic diseases. Mononeuropathy and Plexopathy:

  • Not as common as lumbosacral plexopathy Plexopathy Neuropathy is a nerve pathology presenting with sensory, motor, or autonomic impairment secondary to dysfunction of the affected nerve. The peripheral nerves are derived from several plexuses, with the brachial and lumbosacral plexuses supplying the major innervation to the extremities. Mononeuropathy (affecting a single nerve) and plexopathy (affecting the plexus) can occur from trauma, compression, and systemic diseases. Mononeuropathy and Plexopathy
  • May be mononeuropathies of the ulnar and median Median After arranging the data from loWest to highest, the median is the middle value, separating the lower half from the upper half of the data set. Measures of Central Tendency and Dispersion nerves

Iatrogenic Iatrogenic Any adverse condition in a patient occurring as the result of treatment by a physician, surgeon, or other health professional, especially infections acquired by a patient during the course of treatment. Anterior Cord Syndrome plexopathies:

  • Classic postoperative paresis Paresis A general term referring to a mild to moderate degree of muscular weakness, occasionally used as a synonym for paralysis (severe or complete loss of motor function). In the older literature, paresis often referred specifically to paretic neurosyphilis. ‘general paresis’ and ‘general paralysis’ may still carry that connotation. Bilateral lower extremity paresis is referred to as paraparesis. Spinal Disk Herniation:
    • Caused by traction or pressure during surgery
    • Presents with painless weakness and paresthesia
    • Recovery is rapid and complete.
  • Post- median Median After arranging the data from loWest to highest, the median is the middle value, separating the lower half from the upper half of the data set. Measures of Central Tendency and Dispersion sternotomy Sternotomy Making an incision in the sternum. Cardiac Surgery plexopathy Plexopathy Neuropathy is a nerve pathology presenting with sensory, motor, or autonomic impairment secondary to dysfunction of the affected nerve. The peripheral nerves are derived from several plexuses, with the brachial and lumbosacral plexuses supplying the major innervation to the extremities. Mononeuropathy (affecting a single nerve) and plexopathy (affecting the plexus) can occur from trauma, compression, and systemic diseases. Mononeuropathy and Plexopathy:
    • Occurs after open-heart surgery 
    • Caused by injury to the anterior ramus C8 
    • Presents with hand Hand The hand constitutes the distal part of the upper limb and provides the fine, precise movements needed in activities of daily living. It consists of 5 metacarpal bones and 14 phalanges, as well as numerous muscles innervated by the median and ulnar nerves. Hand: Anatomy weakness, paresthesia, and pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways in the C8 dermatome Dermatome Spinal Disk Herniation
  • Anesthetic block plexopathy Plexopathy Neuropathy is a nerve pathology presenting with sensory, motor, or autonomic impairment secondary to dysfunction of the affected nerve. The peripheral nerves are derived from several plexuses, with the brachial and lumbosacral plexuses supplying the major innervation to the extremities. Mononeuropathy (affecting a single nerve) and plexopathy (affecting the plexus) can occur from trauma, compression, and systemic diseases. Mononeuropathy and Plexopathy:
    • Occurs after regional infraclavicular brachial plexus Brachial Plexus The large network of nerve fibers which distributes the innervation of the upper extremity. The brachial plexus extends from the neck into the axilla. In humans, the nerves of the plexus usually originate from the lower cervical and the first thoracic spinal cord segments (c5-c8 and T1), but variations are not uncommon. Peripheral Nerve Injuries in the Cervicothoracic Region blockade
    • Due to trauma from the infusion needle, hematoma Hematoma A collection of blood outside the blood vessels. Hematoma can be localized in an organ, space, or tissue. Intussusception formation, or neurotoxicity from the local anesthetic
  • Medial brachial fascial compartment syndrome Compartment Syndrome Compartment syndrome is a surgical emergency usually occurring secondary to trauma. The condition is marked by increased pressure within a compartment that compromises the circulation and function of the tissues within that space. Compartment Syndrome:
    • Occurs after puncture of the axillary or brachial artery Brachial Artery The continuation of the axillary artery; it branches into the radial and ulnar arteries. Cubital Fossa: Anatomy during procedures such as arteriography or axillary regional anesthetic blocks
    • Expanding hematoma Hematoma A collection of blood outside the blood vessels. Hematoma can be localized in an organ, space, or tissue. Intussusception causes nerve compression Compression Blunt Chest Trauma of the median Median After arranging the data from loWest to highest, the median is the middle value, separating the lower half from the upper half of the data set. Measures of Central Tendency and Dispersion or ulnar nerves most commonly.

Diagnosis

The primary pathologic lesion in most plexopathies is axonal loss, whether due to trauma, demyelination Demyelination Multiple Sclerosis, or compression Compression Blunt Chest Trauma. Diagnosis is based on clinical presentation Presentation The position or orientation of the fetus at near term or during obstetric labor, determined by its relation to the spine of the mother and the birth canal. The normal position is a vertical, cephalic presentation with the fetal vertex flexed on the neck. Normal and Abnormal Labor and testing.

History

  • Duration of symptoms
  • Characteristics of pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways, sensory Sensory Neurons which conduct nerve impulses to the central nervous system. Nervous System: Histology changes, weakness, and muscle atrophy Atrophy Decrease in the size of a cell, tissue, organ, or multiple organs, associated with a variety of pathological conditions such as abnormal cellular changes, ischemia, malnutrition, or hormonal changes. Cellular Adaptation
  • Infection, activity, or injury associated with the onset
  • Change in symptoms with a change in head, neck Neck The part of a human or animal body connecting the head to the rest of the body. Peritonsillar Abscess, or arm Arm The arm, or “upper arm” in common usage, is the region of the upper limb that extends from the shoulder to the elbow joint and connects inferiorly to the forearm through the cubital fossa. It is divided into 2 fascial compartments (anterior and posterior). Arm: Anatomy position
  • Autonomic symptoms Autonomic Symptoms Cluster Headaches
  • Change in functionality of the arm Arm The arm, or “upper arm” in common usage, is the region of the upper limb that extends from the shoulder to the elbow joint and connects inferiorly to the forearm through the cubital fossa. It is divided into 2 fascial compartments (anterior and posterior). Arm: Anatomy 
  • Past medical history Past Medical History Adult Health Maintenance:
    • Malignancy Malignancy Hemothorax, radiation Radiation Emission or propagation of acoustic waves (sound), electromagnetic energy waves (such as light; radio waves; gamma rays; or x-rays), or a stream of subatomic particles (such as electrons; neutrons; protons; or alpha particles). Osteosarcoma, chemotherapy Chemotherapy Osteosarcoma
    • Demyelinating disorders Demyelinating disorders Conditions characterized by loss or dysfunction of myelin in the brain, spinal cord, or optic nerves secondary to autoimmune mediated processes. This may take the form of a humoral or cellular immune response directed toward myelin or oligodendroglia associated autoantigens. Posterior Cord Syndrome
    • Diabetes Diabetes Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a metabolic disease characterized by hyperglycemia and dysfunction of the regulation of glucose metabolism by insulin. Type 1 DM is diagnosed mostly in children and young adults as the result of autoimmune destruction of β cells in the pancreas and the resulting lack of insulin. Type 2 DM has a significant association with obesity and is characterized by insulin resistance. Diabetes Mellitus 
    • Previous brachial plexopathy Plexopathy Neuropathy is a nerve pathology presenting with sensory, motor, or autonomic impairment secondary to dysfunction of the affected nerve. The peripheral nerves are derived from several plexuses, with the brachial and lumbosacral plexuses supplying the major innervation to the extremities. Mononeuropathy (affecting a single nerve) and plexopathy (affecting the plexus) can occur from trauma, compression, and systemic diseases. Mononeuropathy and Plexopathy
  • Details of pregnancy Pregnancy The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (embryos or fetuses) in utero before birth, beginning from fertilization to birth. Pregnancy: Diagnosis, Physiology, and Care and delivery in neonatal patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship (e.g., stretching/traction)

Physical examination

  • Visual inspection Inspection Dermatologic Examination for skin Skin The skin, also referred to as the integumentary system, is the largest organ of the body. The skin is primarily composed of the epidermis (outer layer) and dermis (deep layer). The epidermis is primarily composed of keratinocytes that undergo rapid turnover, while the dermis contains dense layers of connective tissue. Skin: Structure and Functions changes: 
    • Surgical scars or wounds 
    • Muscle atrophy Atrophy Decrease in the size of a cell, tissue, organ, or multiple organs, associated with a variety of pathological conditions such as abnormal cellular changes, ischemia, malnutrition, or hormonal changes. Cellular Adaptation
  • Palpation Palpation Application of fingers with light pressure to the surface of the body to determine consistency of parts beneath in physical diagnosis; includes palpation for determining the outlines of organs. Dermatologic Examination of the muscles of the shoulder and arm Arm The arm, or “upper arm” in common usage, is the region of the upper limb that extends from the shoulder to the elbow joint and connects inferiorly to the forearm through the cubital fossa. It is divided into 2 fascial compartments (anterior and posterior). Arm: Anatomy
  • Range of motion Range of motion The distance and direction to which a bone joint can be extended. Range of motion is a function of the condition of the joints, muscles, and connective tissues involved. Joint flexibility can be improved through appropriate muscle strength exercises. Examination of the Upper Limbs (ROM) of the cervical spine Spine The human spine, or vertebral column, is the most important anatomical and functional axis of the human body. It consists of 7 cervical vertebrae, 12 thoracic vertebrae, and 5 lumbar vertebrae and is limited cranially by the skull and caudally by the sacrum. Vertebral Column: Anatomy and upper extremity
  • Pupil Pupil The pupil is the space within the eye that permits light to project onto the retina. Anatomically located in front of the lens, the pupil’s size is controlled by the surrounding iris. The pupil provides insight into the function of the central and autonomic nervous systems. Pupil: Physiology and Abnormalities exam for possible Horner syndrome Horner syndrome Horner syndrome is a condition resulting from an interruption of the sympathetic innervation of the eyes. The syndrome is usually idiopathic but can be directly caused by head and neck trauma, cerebrovascular disease, or a tumor of the CNS. Horner Syndrome
  • Neurological exam:
  • Neonatal patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship: Clinical diagnosis is made when arm Arm The arm, or “upper arm” in common usage, is the region of the upper limb that extends from the shoulder to the elbow joint and connects inferiorly to the forearm through the cubital fossa. It is divided into 2 fascial compartments (anterior and posterior). Arm: Anatomy weakness at birth fits a distribution consistent with a brachial plexus Brachial Plexus The large network of nerve fibers which distributes the innervation of the upper extremity. The brachial plexus extends from the neck into the axilla. In humans, the nerves of the plexus usually originate from the lower cervical and the first thoracic spinal cord segments (c5-c8 and T1), but variations are not uncommon. Peripheral Nerve Injuries in the Cervicothoracic Region injury.

Imaging and tests

  • Cervical spine Spine The human spine, or vertebral column, is the most important anatomical and functional axis of the human body. It consists of 7 cervical vertebrae, 12 thoracic vertebrae, and 5 lumbar vertebrae and is limited cranially by the skull and caudally by the sacrum. Vertebral Column: Anatomy X-ray X-ray Penetrating electromagnetic radiation emitted when the inner orbital electrons of an atom are excited and release radiant energy. X-ray wavelengths range from 1 pm to 10 nm. Hard x-rays are the higher energy, shorter wavelength x-rays. Soft x-rays or grenz rays are less energetic and longer in wavelength. The short wavelength end of the x-ray spectrum overlaps the gamma rays wavelength range. The distinction between gamma rays and x-rays is based on their radiation source. Pulmonary Function Tests for bony abnormalities
  • Chest X-ray X-ray Penetrating electromagnetic radiation emitted when the inner orbital electrons of an atom are excited and release radiant energy. X-ray wavelengths range from 1 pm to 10 nm. Hard x-rays are the higher energy, shorter wavelength x-rays. Soft x-rays or grenz rays are less energetic and longer in wavelength. The short wavelength end of the x-ray spectrum overlaps the gamma rays wavelength range. The distinction between gamma rays and x-rays is based on their radiation source. Pulmonary Function Tests if concern for lung malignancy Malignancy Hemothorax
  • MRI for structural abnormalities (e.g., disc herniation Herniation Omphalocele, tumor Tumor Inflammation)
  • Ultrasound may distinguish preganglionic from postganglionic traumatic lesions noninvasively.
  • Electromyography Electromyography Recording of the changes in electric potential of muscle by means of surface or needle electrodes. Becker Muscular Dystrophy (EMG)/nerve conduction studies:
    • Assesses for axonal damage in motor Motor Neurons which send impulses peripherally to activate muscles or secretory cells. Nervous System: Histology nerves 
    • Gives information regarding other diagnoses (e.g., nerve entrapment syndromes)
    • Sensory Sensory Neurons which conduct nerve impulses to the central nervous system. Nervous System: Histology nerve conduction studies are more sensitive to axonal loss than motor Motor Neurons which send impulses peripherally to activate muscles or secretory cells. Nervous System: Histology nerve studies.

Management

Acute traumatic injuries may lead to plexopathies that are self-limited within a few months. Specific treatments for nontraumatic plexopathies include PT and medications.

Traumatic plexopathies

  • Some situations may require emergent surgical intervention.
  • Nonemergency surgery: indicated if no improvement after 3–4 months 
  • Types of procedures:
    • Neurolysis
    • Nerve grafts
    • Nerve transfers
    • Tendon and muscle transfers
  • Prognosis Prognosis A prediction of the probable outcome of a disease based on a individual’s condition and the usual course of the disease as seen in similar situations. Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas: improved function noted in approximately 60% of patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship after surgical intervention

Nontraumatic plexopathies

Neuralgic amyotrophy Neuralgic amyotrophy Mononeuropathy and Plexopathy:

  • Conservative management:
    • PT
    • Glucocorticoids Glucocorticoids Glucocorticoids are a class within the corticosteroid family. Glucocorticoids are chemically and functionally similar to endogenous cortisol. There are a wide array of indications, which primarily benefit from the antiinflammatory and immunosuppressive effects of this class of drugs. Glucocorticoids 
    • Analgesics
  • Prognosis Prognosis A prediction of the probable outcome of a disease based on a individual’s condition and the usual course of the disease as seen in similar situations. Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas:
    • Recovery is slow over 1–3 years.
    • Some patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship may have persistent disability Disability Determination of the degree of a physical, mental, or emotional handicap. The diagnosis is applied to legal qualification for benefits and income under disability insurance and to eligibility for social security and workman’s compensation benefits. ABCDE Assessment.

Hereditary brachial plexopathy Plexopathy Neuropathy is a nerve pathology presenting with sensory, motor, or autonomic impairment secondary to dysfunction of the affected nerve. The peripheral nerves are derived from several plexuses, with the brachial and lumbosacral plexuses supplying the major innervation to the extremities. Mononeuropathy (affecting a single nerve) and plexopathy (affecting the plexus) can occur from trauma, compression, and systemic diseases. Mononeuropathy and Plexopathy:

  • Glucocorticoids Glucocorticoids Glucocorticoids are a class within the corticosteroid family. Glucocorticoids are chemically and functionally similar to endogenous cortisol. There are a wide array of indications, which primarily benefit from the antiinflammatory and immunosuppressive effects of this class of drugs. Glucocorticoids
  • Analgesics
  • PT

Neoplastic plexopathy Plexopathy Neuropathy is a nerve pathology presenting with sensory, motor, or autonomic impairment secondary to dysfunction of the affected nerve. The peripheral nerves are derived from several plexuses, with the brachial and lumbosacral plexuses supplying the major innervation to the extremities. Mononeuropathy (affecting a single nerve) and plexopathy (affecting the plexus) can occur from trauma, compression, and systemic diseases. Mononeuropathy and Plexopathy:

  • Radiation Radiation Emission or propagation of acoustic waves (sound), electromagnetic energy waves (such as light; radio waves; gamma rays; or x-rays), or a stream of subatomic particles (such as electrons; neutrons; protons; or alpha particles). Osteosarcoma therapy (RT) to reduce pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways
  • Analgesics 

Radiation Radiation Emission or propagation of acoustic waves (sound), electromagnetic energy waves (such as light; radio waves; gamma rays; or x-rays), or a stream of subatomic particles (such as electrons; neutrons; protons; or alpha particles). Osteosarcoma-induced plexopathy Plexopathy Neuropathy is a nerve pathology presenting with sensory, motor, or autonomic impairment secondary to dysfunction of the affected nerve. The peripheral nerves are derived from several plexuses, with the brachial and lumbosacral plexuses supplying the major innervation to the extremities. Mononeuropathy (affecting a single nerve) and plexopathy (affecting the plexus) can occur from trauma, compression, and systemic diseases. Mononeuropathy and Plexopathy:

  • Gabapentinoids (inhibit neurotransmission Neurotransmission The communication from a neuron to a target (neuron, muscle, or secretory cell) across a synapse. In chemical synaptic transmission, the presynaptic neuron releases a neurotransmitter that diffuses across the synaptic cleft and binds to specific synaptic receptors, activating them. The activated receptors modulate specific ion channels and/or second-messenger systems in the postsynaptic cell. In electrical synaptic transmission, electrical signals are communicated as an ionic current flow across electrical synapses. Synapses and Neurotransmission)
  • Glucocorticoids Glucocorticoids Glucocorticoids are a class within the corticosteroid family. Glucocorticoids are chemically and functionally similar to endogenous cortisol. There are a wide array of indications, which primarily benefit from the antiinflammatory and immunosuppressive effects of this class of drugs. Glucocorticoids
  • Tricyclic antidepressants Tricyclic antidepressants Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are a class of medications used in the management of mood disorders, primarily depression. These agents, named after their 3-ring chemical structure, act via reuptake inhibition of neurotransmitters (particularly norepinephrine and serotonin) in the brain. Tricyclic Antidepressants ( TCAs TCAs Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are a class of medications used in the management of mood disorders, primarily depression. These agents, named after their 3-ring chemical structure, act via reuptake inhibition of neurotransmitters (particularly norepinephrine and serotonin) in the brain. Tricyclic Antidepressants)

TOS TOS Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) is a broad term used for a spectrum of syndromes related to the general region of the thoracic outlet, which involves the compression or irritation of elements of the brachial plexus, subclavian artery, or subclavian vein. Thoracic Outlet Syndrome:

  • Conservative measures:
    • Weight reduction
    • Analgesics
    • Strengthening program
  • Surgery:
    • True neurogenic TOS TOS Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) is a broad term used for a spectrum of syndromes related to the general region of the thoracic outlet, which involves the compression or irritation of elements of the brachial plexus, subclavian artery, or subclavian vein. Thoracic Outlet Syndrome → surgical release Release Release of a virus from the host cell following virus assembly and maturation. Egress can occur by host cell lysis, exocytosis, or budding through the plasma membrane. Virology of the fibrous Fibrous Fibrocystic Change band or resection of the rudimentary cervical rib
    • Vascular TOS TOS Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) is a broad term used for a spectrum of syndromes related to the general region of the thoracic outlet, which involves the compression or irritation of elements of the brachial plexus, subclavian artery, or subclavian vein. Thoracic Outlet Syndrome → decompressive surgery

Iatrogenic Iatrogenic Any adverse condition in a patient occurring as the result of treatment by a physician, surgeon, or other health professional, especially infections acquired by a patient during the course of treatment. Anterior Cord Syndrome plexopathies:

  • Conservative management
  • Surgical decompression

Neonatal brachial plexus Brachial Plexus The large network of nerve fibers which distributes the innervation of the upper extremity. The brachial plexus extends from the neck into the axilla. In humans, the nerves of the plexus usually originate from the lower cervical and the first thoracic spinal cord segments (c5-c8 and T1), but variations are not uncommon. Peripheral Nerve Injuries in the Cervicothoracic Region palsy Palsy paralysis of an area of the body, thus incapable of voluntary movement Cranial Nerve Palsies:

  • PT to promote muscle strengthening
  • Surgery indications include:
    • Pan- plexopathy Plexopathy Neuropathy is a nerve pathology presenting with sensory, motor, or autonomic impairment secondary to dysfunction of the affected nerve. The peripheral nerves are derived from several plexuses, with the brachial and lumbosacral plexuses supplying the major innervation to the extremities. Mononeuropathy (affecting a single nerve) and plexopathy (affecting the plexus) can occur from trauma, compression, and systemic diseases. Mononeuropathy and Plexopathy and preganglionic nerve root lesion
    • Complete nerve disruption and nerve root avulsions
    • Incomplete functional recovery
  • Botulinum toxin Botulinum toxin Toxic proteins produced from the species Clostridium botulinum. The toxins are synthesized as a single peptide chain which is processed into a mature protein consisting of a heavy chain and light chain joined via a disulfide bond. The botulinum toxin light chain is a zinc-dependent protease which is released from the heavy chain upon endocytosis into presynaptic nerve endings. Once inside the cell the botulinum toxin light chain cleaves specific snare proteins which are essential for secretion of acetylcholine by synaptic vesicles. This inhibition of acetylcholine release results in muscular paralysis. Botulism injection: may be helpful for contractures Contractures Prolonged shortening of the muscle or other soft tissue around a joint, preventing movement of the joint. Wound Healing/muscle imbalances 
  • Psychosocial support for ongoing disability Disability Determination of the degree of a physical, mental, or emotional handicap. The diagnosis is applied to legal qualification for benefits and income under disability insurance and to eligibility for social security and workman’s compensation benefits. ABCDE Assessment in childhood
  • Prognosis Prognosis A prediction of the probable outcome of a disease based on a individual’s condition and the usual course of the disease as seen in similar situations. Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas:
    • Spontaneous recovery occurs over 1–3 months in most cases.
    • More favorable prognosis Prognosis A prediction of the probable outcome of a disease based on a individual’s condition and the usual course of the disease as seen in similar situations. Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas if early clinical improvement in a few weeks
    • Good prognosis Prognosis A prediction of the probable outcome of a disease based on a individual’s condition and the usual course of the disease as seen in similar situations. Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas with normal or near-normal strength in elbow flexion Flexion Examination of the Upper Limbs, shoulder external rotation External Rotation Examination of the Upper Limbs, and forearm Forearm The forearm is the region of the upper limb between the elbow and the wrist. The term “forearm” is used in anatomy to distinguish this area from the arm, a term that is commonly used to describe the entire upper limb. The forearm consists of 2 long bones (the radius and the ulna), the interosseous membrane, and multiple arteries, nerves, and muscles. Forearm: Anatomy supination Supination Applies to movements of the forearm in turning the palm forward or upward. When referring to the foot, a combination of adduction and inversion movements of the foot. Examination of the Upper Limbs by 3 months of age

Differential Diagnosis

  • Cervical radiculopathy Radiculopathy Disease involving a spinal nerve root which may result from compression related to intervertebral disk displacement; spinal cord injuries; spinal diseases; and other conditions. Clinical manifestations include radicular pain, weakness, and sensory loss referable to structures innervated by the involved nerve root. Rheumatoid Arthritis: refers to pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways and neurologic symptoms in the upper extremities due to injury or inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation of the cervical spine Spine The human spine, or vertebral column, is the most important anatomical and functional axis of the human body. It consists of 7 cervical vertebrae, 12 thoracic vertebrae, and 5 lumbar vertebrae and is limited cranially by the skull and caudally by the sacrum. Vertebral Column: Anatomy nerve roots. The causes of cervical radiculopathy Radiculopathy Disease involving a spinal nerve root which may result from compression related to intervertebral disk displacement; spinal cord injuries; spinal diseases; and other conditions. Clinical manifestations include radicular pain, weakness, and sensory loss referable to structures innervated by the involved nerve root. Rheumatoid Arthritis include cervical disc herniation Herniation Omphalocele, infection, tumor Tumor Inflammation infiltration, and demyelination Demyelination Multiple Sclerosis. The clinical features vary depending on the location and degree of cervical nerve root involvement. Diagnosis is made based on clinical exam, MRI, and electrodiagnostic studies. Treatment can be conservative with PT and pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways control, or with surgical decompression if there’s no improvement.
  • Guillain-Barré syndrome Guillain-Barré syndrome Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), once thought to be a single disease process, is a family of immune-mediated polyneuropathies that occur after infections (e.g., with Campylobacter jejuni). Guillain-Barré Syndrome ( GBS GBS An acute inflammatory autoimmune neuritis caused by t cell- mediated cellular immune response directed towards peripheral myelin. Demyelination occurs in peripheral nerves and nerve roots. The process is often preceded by a viral or bacterial infection, surgery, immunization, lymphoma, or exposure to toxins. Common clinical manifestations include progressive weakness, loss of sensation, and loss of deep tendon reflexes. Weakness of respiratory muscles and autonomic dysfunction may occur. Polyneuropathy): refers to a family of immune-mediated polyneuropathies Polyneuropathies Diseases of multiple peripheral nerves simultaneously. Polyneuropathies usually are characterized by symmetrical, bilateral distal motor and sensory impairment with a graded increase in severity distally. The pathological processes affecting peripheral nerves include degeneration of the axon, myelin or both. The various forms of polyneuropathy are categorized by the type of nerve affected (e.g., sensory, motor, or autonomic), by the distribution of nerve injury (e.g., distal vs. Proximal), by nerve component primarily affected (e.g., demyelinating vs. axonal), by etiology, or by pattern of inheritance. Mononeuropathy and Plexopathy that occur after infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease (e.g., Campylobacter jejuni Campylobacter jejuni A species of bacteria that resemble small tightly coiled spirals. Its organisms are known to cause abortion in sheep and fever and enteritis in man and may be associated with enteric diseases of calves, lambs, and other animals. Campylobacter). Typical GBS GBS An acute inflammatory autoimmune neuritis caused by t cell- mediated cellular immune response directed towards peripheral myelin. Demyelination occurs in peripheral nerves and nerve roots. The process is often preceded by a viral or bacterial infection, surgery, immunization, lymphoma, or exposure to toxins. Common clinical manifestations include progressive weakness, loss of sensation, and loss of deep tendon reflexes. Weakness of respiratory muscles and autonomic dysfunction may occur. Polyneuropathy is characterized by acute monophasic neuromuscular paralysis Acute Monophasic Neuromuscular Paralysis Guillain-Barré Syndrome, which is symmetric and ascending and may progress to respiratory failure Respiratory failure Respiratory failure is a syndrome that develops when the respiratory system is unable to maintain oxygenation and/or ventilation. Respiratory failure may be acute or chronic and is classified as hypoxemic, hypercapnic, or a combination of the two. Respiratory Failure requiring prolonged hospitalization Prolonged Hospitalization Surgical Infections. Management is mostly supportive and may require either plasma Plasma The residual portion of blood that is left after removal of blood cells by centrifugation without prior blood coagulation. Transfusion Products exchange or IV immunoglobulin Iv Immunoglobulin Dermatomyositis ( IVIG IVIG Dermatomyositis). 
  • Multiple sclerosis Multiple Sclerosis Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease that leads to demyelination of the nerves in the CNS. Young women are more predominantly affected by this most common demyelinating condition. Multiple Sclerosis ( MS MS Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease that leads to demyelination of the nerves in the CNS. Young women are more predominantly affected by this most common demyelinating condition. Multiple Sclerosis): chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease leading to demyelination Demyelination Multiple Sclerosis of the CNS. The etiology is uncertain, but both genetic and environmental factors are believed to play a role. Diagnosis is made by MRI as well as CSF examination. Management involves corticosteroids Corticosteroids Chorioretinitis for acute exacerbations and disease-modifying agents to reduce exacerbations and slow the progression of the disease.
  • Spinal cord Spinal cord The spinal cord is the major conduction pathway connecting the brain to the body; it is part of the CNS. In cross section, the spinal cord is divided into an H-shaped area of gray matter (consisting of synapsing neuronal cell bodies) and a surrounding area of white matter (consisting of ascending and descending tracts of myelinated axons). Spinal Cord: Anatomy injury: associated with complete or incomplete syndromes due to vertebral fracture Fracture A fracture is a disruption of the cortex of any bone and periosteum and is commonly due to mechanical stress after an injury or accident. Open fractures due to trauma can be a medical emergency. Fractures are frequently associated with automobile accidents, workplace injuries, and trauma. Overview of Bone Fractures, disc herniation Herniation Omphalocele, or, in some cases, arterial occlusion/ ischemia Ischemia A hypoperfusion of the blood through an organ or tissue caused by a pathologic constriction or obstruction of its blood vessels, or an absence of blood circulation. Ischemic Cell Damage. The cardinal sign is a discrete injury level, above which neurologic function is intact, and below which it is absent or markedly diminished. Diagnosis is by clinical exam and MRI. Management depends on the cause of the spinal cord Spinal cord The spinal cord is the major conduction pathway connecting the brain to the body; it is part of the CNS. In cross section, the spinal cord is divided into an H-shaped area of gray matter (consisting of synapsing neuronal cell bodies) and a surrounding area of white matter (consisting of ascending and descending tracts of myelinated axons). Spinal Cord: Anatomy syndrome and involves long-term symptomatic care and rehabilitation. 

References

  1. Bromberg, MB. (2021). Brachial plexus syndromes. UpToDate. Retrieved August 17, 2021, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/brachial-plexus-syndromes
  2. Rubin, M. (2020). Brachial plexus and lumbosacral plexus disorders. MSD Manual Professional Version. Retrieved August 17, 2021, from https://www.msdmanuals.com/professional/neurologic-disorders/peripheral-nervous-system-and-motor-unit-disorders/brachial-plexus-and-lumbosacral-plexus-disorders
  3. Selcen, D. (2021). Neonatal brachial plexus palsy. UpToDate. Retrieved August 21, 2021, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/neonatal-brachial-plexus-palsy
  4. Kuhlman, G. (2021). Burners (Stingers): Acute brachial plexus injury in the athlete. UpToDate. Retrieved August 21, 2021, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/burners-stingers-acute-brachial-plexus-injury-in-the-athlete
  5. Dorhout Mees, SM, Van Faals, NL, & Van Alfen, N. (2020). Backpack palsy and other brachial plexus neuropathies in the military population. J Peripher Nerv Syst. 25, 27–31. https://doi.org/10.1111/jns.12363
  6. Upadhyaya, V, & Upadhyaya, DN. (2019). Current status of magnetic resonance neurography in evaluating patients with brachial plexopathy. Neurology India. 67(Supplement), S118–S124. https://doi.org/10.4103/0028-3886.250730
  7. Warade, AC, Jha, AK, Pattankar, S, & Desai, K. (2019). Radiation-induced brachial plexus neuropathy: A review. Neurology India. 67(Supplement), S47–S52. https://doi.org/10.4103/0028-3886.250704

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