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Journal of Korean Neurosurgical Society 2004;36(3): 177-185.
Brachial Plexus Injury: Mechanisms, Surgical Treatment and Outcomes.
Daniel H Kim, Judith A Murovic, David G Kline
1Department of Neurosurgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, U.S.A. neurokim@stanford.edu
2Louisiana State University Health Sciences Cetner, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.A.
This paper reviews the mechanisms of brachial plexus injury which includes the traumatic: stretch/contusions with or without avulsion, gunshot wounds(GSWs) and lacerations and the nontraumatic from tumors and the various etiologies of thoracic outlet syndrome(TOS). Another type of brachial plexus injury is that of obstetrical birth injury. The paper also reviews the anatomy of the brachial plexus and operative approaches with the anterior approach used in the majority of cases. The posterior subscapular approach with resection of the first rib is occasionally used for tumor resection, GSWs of the lower roots and trunk and the majority of patients with TOS. Surgical techniques and their indications in brachial plexus surgery are presented including nerve action potential(NAP) recording, neurolysis, end-to-end suture anastomosis repair and graft repair including split-repair. The mechanisms of brachial plexus injury are individually reviewed and results for each type of repair of same from the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center(LSUHSC) experience with 1, 019 patients between 1968-1998 are summarized. There were 509 (49%) stretch/contusion injuries, which was the majority lesion followed in number by brachial plexus GSWs (12%) and lacerations (7%). Nontraumatic brachial plexus injuries included tumors (16%) and TOS (16%). Obstetrical brachial plexus injury though not included with the 1, 019 patients presented in a paper by Kim and Kline et al (J Neurosurg 98: 1005-1016, 2003) are presented and the LSUHSC experience with these are included as well.
Key Words: Brachial plexus; Injury; Surgical treatment; Outcome
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