Information for the public
The brachial plexus is the bundle of nerves from the neck to the arm which supplies movement and feeling to the shoulder, arm and hand. Damage to the brachial plexus can cause paralysis of the arm or hand, and can be associated with severe pain.
Surgery is usually considered for severe injuries. This involves re-joining the damaged nerves together, or joining a healthy nerve from a different muscle to the damaged nerve to make it work again. Surgeons can use different healthy nerves for this, including the nerves to the rib muscles and the diaphragm.
NICE has looked at using the phrenic nerve to repair damaged nerves in the brachial plexus as a treatment option. Click on to the next page to find out more.