Combined injuries of the brachial plexus and spinal cord

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A total of 11 patients with combined traumatic injuries of the brachial plexus and spinal cord were reviewed retrospectively. Brachial plexus paralysis in such dual injuries tends to be diagnosed and treated late and the prognosis is usually poor. The associated injuries, which were all on the same side as the plexus lesion, were to the head (nine cases), shoulder girdle (five), thorax (nine) and upper limb (seven). These other injuries were responsible for the delayed diagnosis of brachial plexus paralysis and the poor prognosis was probably because of the delay in starting treatment and the severity of the associated injuries. When such injuries are detected in patients with spinal cord trauma, it is important to consider the possibility of involvement of the brachial plexus.

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