Brachial Plexus Injury After a Slip and Fall
Nerves Injuries and Damage Can be Serious After a Slip and Fall Accident in Indiana
A serious slip and fall accident can result in nerve damage, particularly to the brachial plexus. This type of damage may weaken or paralyze the arm and hand either temporarily or permanently. In very severe brachial plexus nerve injury cases, it can result in permanent damage which results in disability to the arm. This could affect a person’s ability to work or enjoy life. While there are many ways a brachial plexus nerve injury could be caused, this type of injury after a slip, trip, and fall is very serious—especially on stairs. If you suffered a brachial plexus injury after a slip and fall in Indiana, contact our experienced slip and fall lawyers at Shaw Law for help.
What is a Brachial Plexus Injury?
The shoulder has a network of nerves that is responsible for communicating sensory and movement messages from the spinal cord to the arm and hands. The nerves originate from between the vertebrae and form one large bundle at the base of the neck. They extend downwards through the shoulder girdle and all the way down into the fingers.
The nerves here help send messages between the arm and fingers and the brain. These messages tell the body when and how to move, and how to perceive senses such as touch and heat. When the neck sustains a traumatic injury, such as being stretched too far, pressure pushing down on the neck, or stress, then the arm and hand may suffer from pain.
In addition, the arm and hand may also feel weakness or a pins and needles sensation (numbness) because the nerves are damaged. When the brachial plexus injury is severe, then it is possible that the nerves are completely severed or cut off so that no messages can be transmitted. This results in total loss of sensation, and paralysis of the arm and hand.
If you suffered a brachial plexus injury after a slip and fall in Indiana, contact our experienced slip and fall lawyers at Shaw Law for help.
Types of Brachial Plexus Injury
- Brachial Plexus Neuropraxia: this neck nerve injury happens because the brachial plexus nerves were damaged from either compression (compression neuropraxia), or from traction (traction neuropraxia). Compression neuropraxia can happen when a person’s head snaps or turns abruptly and violently in a slip and fall, compressing the brachial plexus nerve. Less common is traction neuropraxia, which occurs when the brachial plexus nerves are pulled in a downward direction. Both compression neuropraxia and traction neuropraxia can give a person either a burning or a stinging sensation.
- Brachial Plexus Rupture: This is a serious injury because the nerve is stretched so forcefully that it tears, weakening the shoulder, arm, and hand. This can be a partial or a complete tear, and may be repaired with surgery.
- Brachial Plexus Avulsion: An avulsion happens when something is pulled or torn away. In this case the brachial plexus nerve is fully torn away from the spinal cord, usually from a severe trauma. Some brachial plexus avulsions are so severe that surgically reattaching the nerve root is unlikely, leaving a person permanently weakened.
- Brachial Plexus Neuroma: This is a painful type of scar tissue that grows over the damaged brachial plexus nerve. The scar tissue is removable with surgery.
- Brachial Neuritis (Parsonage Turner Syndrome): The cause and sudden onset of this rare but progressive disorder is not yet known, although medical professionals suspect that this is an autoimmune response.
Causes of a Brachial Plexus Injury
There are many causes of brachial plexus injuries, and the severity of a person’s injury is different varies a great deal as well.
Some of the most common causes of a brachial plexus injury after a slip and fall include the following:
- Blunt force trauma, like a slip and fall
- Obstetric Brachial Plexus Injury, like a birth canal injury
- Tumors pressing on the brachial plexus nerve
- Radiation therapy that damaged the brachial plexus nerve
- Surgical or medical trauma like accidentally slicing the brachial plexus nerve
How a Brachial Plexus Injury Can Affect Work
A brachial plexus injury may leave an employee suffering from pain, weakness in the shoulder, arm and hand, and even a burning or numbing sensation. For certain occupations that demand manual dexterity, working will be difficult or in some cases dangerous. Severe injuries can leave a person paralyzed and unable to work in their profession, or even another profession.
Did You Suffer a Brachial Plexus Injury After a Slip and Fall in Indiana? We Can Help
Brachial plexus injuries are very serious injuries that could result in a lifetime of pain and suffering. They could also affect a person’s ability to live and work, sometimes forcing a person to retire early, quit jobs and take a lesser paying job, or work less hours to earn less money. If a slip, trip, and fall has caused these injuries and financial losses to you, call our personal injury law firm for help.
If you or a loved one suffered a brachial plexus injury after a slip and fall in Indiana, call our experienced slip and fall lawyers in Indiana at (260) 777-7777 or message us to learn how we can help protect your rights.
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