FAQ’s

What are nerves?

A nerve is a fibre or a bundle of fibres in your body which sends impulses of sensation to the brain or spinal cord, and sends them back to the muscles. The junction of nerves in your neck which send the impulses to the muscles in your arm, is called Brachial Plexus.

What is a Brachial Plexus?

Brachial Plexus is the junction of nerves in your neck which sends signals from your spinal cord to your arm and hand. In Brachial Plexus injury these become damaged which prevents the muscles from receiving the signals they require to function properly.

Is there a way to fix my arm?

In many cases a full, or at least significant recovery is possible. Fortunately there are surgeries available which could drastically improve your arm function, or even achieve a full recovery, depending on the severity. In some cases, physiotherapy may be enough to facilitate recovery without requiring surgery. Every case is different and your doctor will be able to tell you all about the different treatments available.

Will I get complete movement back in my injured arm?

Again, this depends on the severity of the injury, in many cases it may be possible to achieve complete limb function, in few more severe it may not be.

Will I be able to return to work?

It really depends on your profession and the severity of your Brachial Plexus Injury. There is really no reason why you can’t return so long as the job isn’t too physical. Some people do end up retraining, but for the majority there is no reason why a Brachial Plexus injury would stop you. Obviously it is likely that you will need to take some time off after your accident to focus on recovery. Time off work could result in financial loss, if the injury was acquired through no fault of your own you may be entitled to compensation, this could lesson your financial burden and help you concentrate on recovery.

How can I get rid of the pain?

Occasionally people with the injury may experience a ‘burning’ or ‘crushing’ pain, especially if you have received an Avulsion Brachial Plexus injury. Your doctor may prescribe anticonvulsant or other muscle relaxant drugs. If your pain is severe and has proven difficult to manage, you may be advised to undergo surgery to treat the affected area.

Will physical therapy help me?

Physiotherapy is absolutely essential with regards to Brachial Plexus injury. It can help to reduce muscle stiffening, and improve muscle strength. This may also be important for the uninjured arm, as you may experience pain due to over use, physiotherapy can help to strengthen that arm to allow it to better compensate.

Can I get back behind the wheel?

Absolutely, there is no reason why your Brachial Plexus Injury should stop you. Most people have no problem driving and automatic car. Even motor bikes can be adapted so that they can be safely ridden with one arm. See our ‘adaptions’ page for more information and useful links.

How can I come to terms with losing the use of my arm?

There is no easy answer to how you can deal with the loss of an arm. Different people will cope in different ways. If you are struggling it would be a good idea to talk to your GP and they can refer you to a counselling specialist who will be able to help you come to terms with the changes in your life. There are also support groups available, and many online forums where you can talk to individuals in the same position as you, which you might find really helpful.

Here are some helpful links:

http://adultswithbrachialplexusinjuries.yuku.com/
http://www.tbpi-group.org/
http://www.ubpn.org/

Medical Information

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/brachial-plexus-injury/basics/definition/con-20028265
http://www.patient.co.uk/doctor/brachial-plexus-assessment-and-common-injuries
http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/neurology_neurosurgery/centers_clinics/peripheral_nerve_surgery/conditions/brachial_plexus_injury_bpi.html
http://www.hss.edu/patient-story-flexing-his-muscle-arm-surgery.asp

Adaptions / Useful gadgets

https://www.doability.co.uk/categories/Household/Daily-Living-Aids/Gripping%2C-Lifting%2C-Reaching%2C-Turning-Aids/
http://www.1-handed.com/en/
http://www.essentialaids.com/dressing/dressing-aids.html
http://www.dayshealthcare.co.uk/products/3/daily-living-aids.aspx

Support groups

http://adultswithbrachialplexusinjuries.yuku.com/
http://www.tbpi-group.org/
http://www.ubpn.org/

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