Adult Traumatic Brachial Plexus Injuries

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Adult traumatic brachial plexus injuries are devastating, and they are occurring with increasing frequency. Patient evaluation consists of a focused assessment of upper extremity sensory and motor function, radiologic studies, and, most important, preoperative and intraoperative electrodiagnostic studies. The critical concepts in surgical treatment are patient selection as well as the timing and prioritizing of restoration of function. Surgical techniques include neurolysis, nerve grafting, neurotization, and free muscle transfer. Results are variable, but increased knowledge of nerve injury and repair, as well as advances in microsurgical techniques, allow not only restoration of elbow flexion and shoulder abduction but also of useful prehension of the hand in some patients.

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