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Brachial Plexus Injury

A young 24 year old man sustained a massive injury from a motorbike accident leaving him without the use of his left arm. He was referred to us for possible reconstruction. The nerve roots supplying his shoulder, elbow and part of his arm were avulsed from the spinal cord in the neck. In the video, note the left hand can move but the shoulder and elbow of the left arm do not move.

The intraoperative photographs show an amazing view of the C7 spinal root where the nerve has been pulled from. The second and third pics show the nerve anatomy in the arm which is dissected so as to connect functioning nerves to non functioning ones, a process called nerve transfers. In this way we allow muscles in around the elbow and shoulder to regain some function back and turn a totally flail limb into a more functional arm.

In short : Patients with brachial plexus injuries should ideally be referred by 3 months after an injury to a specialist hand surgeon for evaluation.

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