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Brachial plexus injury could put you out of commission for months

When Texas residents contemplate the injuries they could suffer in a serious car accident, their thoughts often go to traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones and more. Not many people consider other injuries that may not seem serious but could keep you from working and living a normal life for months at a time.

For instance, damage to your nerves can be painful and debilitating, even if temporarily. The best outcome is that you will have issues for months but achieve a full recovery. On the other hand, you could suffer lifelong nerve damage that could complicate your life. One of those injuries could be to a bundle of nerves called the brachial plexus.

What is the brachial plexus?

This bundle of nerves is the one that sends the signals from your shoulder down through your elbow and into your hand. These nerves provide sensation to your arm. Any damage to these nerves could cause you the loss of the use of your arm, excruciating pain and loss of sensation. This bundle of nerves goes from the neck and through the shoulder.

In a car accident, the violent movement of your neck could cause damage to your brachial plexus. Three ways in which the nerves could suffer damage include the following:

  • When the nerves stretch to the point where a partial or complete tear occurs, doctors call it a rupture.
  • When the nerves pull away from your spinal cord, doctors call it an avulsion.
  • When the nerves pull but don't end up torn, doctors call it a stretch.

The intensity of the violent thrust of your neck to one side could determine the extent of your injury.

Symptoms of an injury to your brachial plexus

More than likely, you will know right away that you suffered some sort of injury to these nerves due to the following: 

  • You will more than likely experience shooting pain down your arm.
  • You may be unable to use some or all of the muscles in your arm.
  • Your arm could feel paralyzed.

In serious injuries, you could permanently lose sensation or experience pain. In most cases, doctors try to avoid surgery, instead opting for additional testing and close observation, especially in the first three to six months. Your nerves can regenerate and heal on their own, but it takes time. During that time, you could have trouble using your arm, which could affect your work. Even if you don't need surgery, you could incur extensive medical and medical-related expenses.

If you can prove negligence or recklessness on the part of the other driver involved, a Texas court could award you monetary damages that could help cover your current and future financial losses.

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