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Brachial plexus injury: adult

Published on 07 February 2024

An integrated multidisciplinary service for traumatic brachial plexus injury and tumours involving the brachial plexus. The service provides assessment, treatment and specialist surgery where necessary, depending on the severity of the injury. It's based in the New Victoria Hospital, Glasgow.

What is adult brachial plexus injury?

The brachial plexus is a network of intertwined nerves that send signals from the spinal cord in the neck to the shoulder, arm and hand. The nerves control movement and sensation in the limbs, including the hand. Although there are several causes for adult brachial plexus injury, the most severe usually result from motorbike or car accident, falls from height and knife wounds.

These injuries require early specialist assessment with some cases requiring surgery for decompression or repair of nerves. Later surgery for tendon transfers, joint fusions, or free functional muscle transfer may also be necessary. These measures combined with specialist rehabilitation can help restore function and minimise disability.

Further information about the service is also available on the brachial plexus injury website.