Brachial plexopathy is an ache, pathlogy, injury, limited movement, or reduced feeling in the arm and shoulder as a result of a problem with nerves. It includes brachial plexus, a system in the nervous system in the lower neck and shoulder area where all the upper extremity nerves occur. Brachial plexus malfunction is a type of peripheral neuropathy. Destruction of the brachial plexus is often directly connected to the harm to the nerve, stretching injuries (such as birth trauma), compression from tumors in the place (namely from lung tumors) or damage that is caused by radiation therapy (Castillo, 2005).
Moreover, brachial plexopathy may also be resulted from vulnerability to chemicals, drugs and other toxics, general anesthesia when performing surgery; births inadequacy that results to putting pressure on the neck area. In spite of these factors, various viruses or problems with immune system the cause if the disease can be not sometimes identified. In some cases, brachial plexopathy can be a result of the unsuccessful childbirth. As soon as baby is delivered, its shoulders can be jammed inside the birth canal that makes brachial plexus to tear and to be elastic. According to recent data, two out of ten thousands newborns may suffer from brachial plexopathy. Another possible variant of getting a contagious disease is the children and adults’ incidence of getting brachial plexopathy by neuritis or by disabling their brachial plexus as a result of, for instance, automobile accident (Dunitz, 2001).
Brachial plexopathy is a common severe disease that displays a diagnostic challenge for the population. I general 80% of patients with brachial plexopathy had numerous traumas to the head and skeletal system. It has been scientifically approved that men suffer from branchial plexopathy more often than women, since men are used for strong physical power and eager for sport. The most prevalent age for patients is mid teens and early thirties (Ben-David, Stahl, 1997).
The symptoms of brachial plexopathy are of different kinds, depending on the severity and location of the injury. It includs shoulder pain; numbness of the arm, hand, or shoulder; weakness of the arms, legs, wrists and shoulders, abnormal feelings, ache, or burning in various areas.
Treatment of brachial plexopathy can be very different; however, in all cases it is directed at improving the cause and implementing the possibilities of using arms and hands without pain-killers. In rare cases, the disease requires no treatment since the recovery occurs its own way. Nevertheless, generally, there are certain medications needed in order to keep pain under control. For such purpose the doctors prescribe anticonvulsants (namely, gabapentin, phenytoin, carbamazepine, or pregabalin), tricyclic antidepressants (such as nortriptyline and amitriptyline), and others (including duloxetine) (Ben-David, Stahl, 1997).
For achieving muscle strength, one can resort to physical therapy. It frequently happens that orthopedic aid is able to intensify the ability to use a hand or an arm. This type of therapy includes splints, braces, and other devices. Despite physical therapy, there are some other methods recommended for brachial plexopathy treatment, including occupational therapy or changes, vocational counseling, or even sometimes job retraining (Castillo, 2005).
A sufficient list of complications may arise as a result of an inappropriate treatment or its refusal. These list of complications consists of arm paralysis (partial or complete); loss of feelings in fingers, hand and arm (partial, complete); or deformity of the arm and hand (Dunitz, 2001).
All in all, the consequence and prognosis of brachial plexoparhy alter widely extended; everything depends on the type and source of injury and the timing of therapy. The sooner and the most qualified aid the patient receives; the bigger are chances of his/ her recovery.