BPI Quick Facts

  • Brachial plexus injuries are injuries affecting the network of nerves that control the muscles of the shoulder, arm, elbow, wrist, hand and fingers. Brachial plexus injuries can result in full to partial paralysis of one or both (bilateral) arms.
  • Stretching, tearing or other trauma can cause injury to the nerves of the brachial plexus.
  • Brachial plexus injuries often occur during the birthing process. Availability of brachial plexus statistics vary widely, but where figures are available the general consensus is that brachial plexus injuries occur in 2-5 out of 1000 births.
  • More children suffer from brachial plexus injuries sustained at birth than Down Syndrome or Muscular Dystrophy—yet information on this disability is not so readily obtained.
  • Other causes of brachial plexus injuries include: automobile, motorcycle or boating accidents; sports injuries (known as “burners” or “stingers”); animal bites; gunshot or puncture wounds; as a result of specific medical treatments / procedures / and surgeries; or due to viral diseases.
  • Adults who incur traumatic brachial plexus injuries often suffer from severe and chronic pain and struggle to find support, information and adequate medical care.
  • Brachial plexus injuries occur 10-20 times more frequently than spinal cord injuries.
  • Regardless of causation, it is essential that treatment for a brachial plexus injury be obtained as soon as possible from qualified, experienced medical professionals who specialize in treating brachial plexus injuries.
  • While each injury is unique, some individuals may benefit from surgical intervention. Several specialized brachial plexus clinics around the world utilize a variety of cutting-edge operative approaches in attempting to maximize an individual’s function.
  • Many families and individuals with brachial plexus injuries face ongoing struggles with insurance companies to obtain coverage for treatment related to their disability. Most insurance companies are unaware or do not understand the treatment protocol for brachial plexus injuries.
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