Seek Relief from Your Shoulder Injury
If you suffer from a sports-related shoulder injury, you may be unable to work or do the activities you love. Board-certified surgeon Dr. Rahul K. Nath wants to help you prevent further nerve damage and get back to doing what you love. Contact us to schedule a consultation.
Shoulder Injury Overview
Shoulder injuries are closely related to the brachial plexus nerve network that originates in the spinal cord at the neck. This complex nerve network is responsible for stimulating the muscles of the arm, elbow, wrist, and hand.
There are five roots that make up the brachial plexus. Injury to the upper roots typically affects the shoulder and elbow, while injury to the lower roots affects the hand. Most shoulder injuries are associated with the root of the brachial plexus called the axillary nerve. Sustaining these nerve injuries can cause weakness, numbness, and paralysis in the affected limbs.
How Shoulder Injury Develops
While children often develop a brachial plexus injury at birth, most adults experience brachial plexus nerve damage as a result of an accident or other trauma. In accidents involving motor vehicles in particular, the head and neck can be forced away from the shoulder and arm. This motion with any type of force will stretch or tear the nerve network, leading to shoulder injury. Other instances of shoulder injury are caused by tumor, inflammation or radiation to the brachial plexus region.
Diagnosis of Shoulder Injury
To diagnose your shoulder injury, Dr. Nath will look for physical abnormalities in your shoulder and elbow. Other symptoms to be considered include pain, tightness, numbness or weakness in the shoulder region. You may also be unable to perform certain physical activities, such as lifting objects or raising your arm over your head. An imaging test, or MRI, may be used to get a better picture of your condition.
Surgical Treatment of Shoulder Injury
Nerve surgery is always recommended as early as possible because of the slow regrowth rate nerves have, which is about one inch per month in an adult. Muscles begin to atrophy after the injury onset and may lose the ability to respond to nerve regrowth. Surgical strategy depends on the severity of the injury and which roots of the brachial plexus are involved. Some surgical options include nerve grafting, nerve transfer, nerve decompression and tendon transfer. With prompt surgical treatment, regular function of the shoulder can be restored.
To discuss treatment of your shoulder injury, please call our office at 713-592-9900.