Injury to the brachial plexus leads to reduced function, life-long pain, and even paralysis of the arms. Erb’s Palsy is a form of injury that happens during birth, but risks to this complex of nerves can happen to anyone in an accident.
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Surgery to correct the problem is possible, but the outcomes of the surgery can be vague. What looks good to a surgeon may not be good enough for a patient to psychologically recover from the damage. A survey study reported in the Journal Of Bone & Joint Surgery seeks to discover more about patients’ expectations from brachial plexus surgery and treatment outcomes. Medicalxpress.com has the story.
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The new survey asks questions of patients with brachial plexus injuries before and after the surgery using open-ended questions. The goal of the survey is to help improve patient cares. Dr. Mancuso, the lead investigator of the study, says, “First, it provides a template from which patients can discuss the spectrum of physical and emotional effects of BPI with their surgical team. This, in turn, offers providers the opportunity to comprehensively address patients’ needs directly or through a referral.”
She also hopes that the questions will help create a discussion about the realistic outcomes of brachial plexus surgery and how important it is to perform rehabilitation. Also, by also noting how the surgery was performed, surgeons can collect data about which procedures give better outcomes.