ISSN 2398-2977      

Brachial plexus: trauma

pequis
Contributor(s):

Caroline Hahn


Introduction

  • Not common.
  • Cause: compression of the plexus between scapula and ribs.
  • Signs: lateral rotation and subluxation of the shoulder, non-weightbearing of the affected leg, a lack of elbow extension, inability of fixation of elbow, resting of elbow in extended position, resting dorsum of pastern on the ground, a forward thrust of the limb at walk.
  • Diagnosis: thoracic limb lameness.
  • Treatment: DMSO, corticosteroids, surgery.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Trauma to shoulder.
  • Abducted extension of shoulder and forelimb   →   can arise from lifting with hobbles on one front leg during anesthesia handling.
  • Compression of the brachial plexus and radial nerve roots between the medial aspect of the scapula and the ribs.
  • Fractures of the first rib can result in paralysis of the radial nerve and other nerves of the brachial plexus.

Pathophysiology

  • Brachial plexus trauma is not common in the horse as this structure is well protected.
  • Clincial signs observed in brachial plexus injury are signs observed with both suprascapular and radial nerve paralysis.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

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