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Brachial Plexus

The brachial plexus is a complex network of nerves that originates from the spinal cord in the neck, specifically the cervical and thoracic regions (C5 to T1). It extends through the neck, into the axilla (armpit), and down the arm. The primary function of the brachial plexus is to control the muscles and transmit sensory signals (feeling) to the shoulder, arm, and hand.

This network of nerves is responsible for the motor and sensory functions of the upper limb. Nerves in the brachial plexus can be injured due to trauma, such as during birth, accidents, or other injuries. Brachial plexus injuries can result in weakness, loss of sensation, or paralysis in the affected arm.

Peripheral Nerve Surgery:

Peripheral nerve surgery encompasses various surgical procedures performed on nerves outside the central nervous system, which includes the brain and spinal cord. These peripheral nerves transmit signals between the central nervous system and the rest of the body.

Why and when is Branchial Plexua and peripheral nerve surgery is recommended?

Branchial plexus and peripheral nerve surgery are recommended for various conditions and circumstances, and the decision depends on the specific issues affecting the nerves. Here are some common reasons why and when these surgeries may be recommended:

Brachial Plexus Surgery:

Traumatic Injury:

Brachial plexus injuries often result from trauma, such as motor vehicle accidents or falls, leading to stretching, tearing, or compression of the nerves. Surgery may be recommended when there is significant nerve damage that cannot be repaired through non-surgical means. Early intervention is crucial for the best outcomes

Birth Injuries:

Brachial plexus injuries during childbirth (birth palsy) may occur due to difficult deliveries or improper positioning of the baby. Surgical intervention may be considered if there is no improvement with conservative management, such as physical therapy, within a few months.


Tumors affecting the brachial plexus, although rare, may necessitate surgical removal to relieve pressure on the nerves. Surgery is typically recommended when the tumor is causing symptoms or affecting nerve function.

Peripheral Nerve Surgery:

Nerve Compression Syndromes:

Conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome or cubital tunnel syndrome involve compression of specific peripheral nerves, leading to symptoms such as pain, numbness, and weakness. Surgery may be recommended when conservative treatments (e.g., splinting, medications) fail to provide relief, or if the compression is severe.

Nerve Injuries:

Traumatic injuries, including lacerations or crush injuries, can damage peripheral nerves. Surgery may be required to repair or reconstruct the damaged nerves. Surgical intervention is often performed within days to weeks after the injury to optimize nerve repair.


Peripheral nerve tumors, such as schwannomas or neurofibromas, may be surgically removed to alleviate symptoms and address potential malignancy. Surgery is considered when the tumor causes pain, neurological deficits, or if there's suspicion of malignancy.

Nerve Transfers:

In cases of severe nerve injury or loss, surgeons may perform nerve transfers, redirecting a healthy nerve to restore function in a damaged area. This approach is often considered when direct repair of the damaged nerve is not feasible.


Painful nerve growths (neuromas) may be surgically addressed, either by removal or relocation of the affected nerve. Surgery is considered when neuromas cause persistent pain that doesn't respond to conservative measures.

How Branchial Plexua and peripheral nerve surgery is different from the conventional treatment?

Brachial Plexus Surgery:

Conventional Treatment:

  • For mild brachial plexus injuries, conservative approaches may include physical therapy, occupational therapy, and exercises to improve range of motion and strength.
  • Observation and non-surgical management are often initial strategies, especially for less severe injuries.


  • For severe brachial plexus injuries where nerves are torn or avulsed from the spinal cord.
  • When there's no improvement with conservative measures.

Surgical Interventions:

  • Nerve grafts: Transplanting nerves from one part of the body to repair damaged brachial plexus nerves.
  • Nerve transfers: Redirecting a healthy nerve to restore function in a damaged nerve.
  • Neurolysis: Removing scar tissue or obstacles that may be impeding nerve function.


Peripheral Nerve Surgery:

Conventional Treatment:

  • Conservative approaches for conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome may involve splinting, anti-inflammatory medications, or corticosteroid injections.
  • Physical therapy may be recommended for certain nerve compression syndromes.
  • Observation and non-surgical management are often initial strategies.


  • When conservative measures fail to provide relief.
  • In cases of significant nerve injuries, such as lacerations or crush injuries.

Surgical Interventions:

  • Nerve repair: Directly suturing or grafting damaged nerves.
  • Nerve decompression: Relieving pressure on compressed nerves.
  • Nerve transfers: Redirecting a healthy nerve to restore function in a damaged nerve.
  • Tumor removal: Surgically excising peripheral nerve tumors.
  • Neuroma excision: Removing painful nerve growths (neuromas).


How life after Branchial Plexua and peripheral nerve surgery?

Life after Brachial Plexus Surgery:

Recovery Period:

The immediate postoperative period involves a period of rest and rehabilitation. Physical therapy and occupational therapy are often crucial components of recovery.
Functional Improvement:

The goal of brachial plexus surgery is to restore or improve nerve function. Patients may experience gradual improvements in motor control and sensation in the affected arm.

Physical Therapy:

Physical therapy is typically an integral part of the recovery process. It helps in strengthening muscles, improving range of motion, and enhancing overall function.

Adaptations and Coping:

Depending on the extent of the injury and the success of the surgery, individuals may need to adapt to new ways of performing daily tasks. Coping with potential limitations and ongoing rehabilitation may be a part of the long-term journey.

Pain Management:

Pain management may be a consideration, especially during the early stages of recovery. This could involve medications and other pain management strategies.

Life After Peripheral Nerve Surgery:

Recovery Period:

Similar to brachial plexus surgery, the immediate postoperative period involves recovery, rest, and rehabilitation.

Physical therapy may be a key component of recovery to optimize motor function and reduce symptoms.

Functional Improvement:

The success of peripheral nerve surgery aims to improve or restore nerve function, leading to enhanced motor control and reduced symptoms.

Adaptations and Coping:

Depending on the nature of the condition and the success of the surgery, individuals may need to adapt to changes in sensation or function.

Rehabilitation and adaptive strategies may be implemented to help individuals cope with any remaining challenges.

Pain Management:

Pain relief is often a significant outcome of successful peripheral nerve surgery, especially in cases involving compression syndromes or neuromas.


At Aster Hospitals we provide the highest quality of care and a transformative experience for all your healthcare needs. With our network of multi-speciality hospitals, specialised doctors, and world-class technology, we bring global standards of medical care to our patients.

What types of injuries can be addressed with brachial plexus surgery?

Brachial plexus surgery is typically performed for injuries involving nerve avulsion, where the nerves are torn from the spinal cord, or severe nerve stretching.

Can brachial plexus injuries be treated without surgery?

In less severe cases, brachial plexus injuries may be managed with conservative approaches, including physical therapy. However, surgery is typically considered for severe injuries with nerve avulsion.

What is the goal of brachial plexus surgery?

The primary goal is to restore or improve nerve function, leading to enhanced motor control and sensation in the affected arm.

Can children undergo brachial plexus surgery?

Yes, brachial plexus injuries can occur during childbirth, and surgery may be considered for children with severe injuries. Early intervention is often crucial for better outcomes.


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