Minor brachial plexus injuries, known as stingers or burners, are common in contact sports, such as football. Babies sometimes sustain brachial plexus injuries during birth. Other conditions, such as inflammation or tumors, may affect the brachial plexus.
Treatment options that include neurolysis, nerve grafting, or neurotization (nerve transfer) has become an important procedure in the restoration of function in patients with irreparable preganglionic lesions. Restoration of elbow flexion is the primary goal in treating patients with severe brachial plexus injuries. Nerve transfers are used when spinal roots are avulsed, and proximal stumps are not available.
Nerve transfers using ulnar and/or median nerve fascicles to restore elbow flexion have been widely used following traumatic brachial plexus injury, but their utility following neonatal brachial plexus palsy remains unclear.