Kauvery Hospital successfully relieves a young man of chronic severe pain from Brachial Plexus Injury

Chennai, 7th June 2022: Kauvery Hospital Chennai, a unit of Kauvery Group of Hospitals, a leading multispecialty healthcare chain in Tamil Nadu, today announced the successful treatment of a 24-year-aged man with Brachial Plexus Injury.

Brachial Plexus can get injured in people who get involved in road traffic accidents and result in partial or complete weakness of, or severe pain in, an affected arm. A 24-year-old man from Kerala was diagnosed with a right brachial plexus injury following a road accident he had encountered three years ago.

Speaking on the condition, Dr. G. Balamurali, Consultant Spine and Neurosurgeon, Kauvery Hospital said, 'A network of nerves sends signals from spinal cord to the shoulder and arms which enable movements. When this network of nerves is damaged or stretched, and in some severe cases, ripped away completely from the spinal cord, it can cause excruciating pain or weakness of the limb or both. The pain experienced by patients is so severe that some patients want their limb removed."

Surgical procedures such as nerve transfer, muscle transfer and tendon transfer are carried out to improve weakness and restore function. The pain, in the initial phase, is managed with medications that are often not very effective in giving relief.

Therefore, a surgery called DREZ (Dorsal Root Entry Zone) lesioning is offered. It is done on the spinal cord by lesioning at multiple levels where the sensory components of the nerves enter the spinal cord. This is a complex major surgery lasting 8 - 10 hours that is done with various safety measures like neuromonitoring and sophisticated equipment. When performed by experienced surgeons the DREZ surgery relieves up to ninety percent of pain in patients with Brachial Plexus injury. Several sessions of counselling are needed to prepare the patients for this major surgery.

The young man had severe pain for almost 3 years. He had achieved upper limb movement post- surgery and muscle transfer, but had later developed severe pain that took a great toll on his personal life. He had trouble with sleeping, and was often in great distress with severe pain. Following DREZ surgery, he was completely relieved of the pain and could, once again, sleep well, after 3 long years. "His parents were on top of the world to see him relieved of pain and suffering", added Dr. G. Balamurali.

Speaking on the success of the treatment, Dr. Aravindan Selvaraj, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Kauvery Hospital, Chennai, said "Although Brachial Plexus Injury is quite common, patients are not aware of this surgery to resolve pain if medical treatment fails to give relief. Not many centres in the country offer this treatment and only a few very experienced surgeons perform the surgery effectively. DREZ lesioning surgery results in 80-90 % of pain relief in almost 70-80 % of those affected by Brachial Plexus Injury. We have successfully managed more than hundred patients and even performed revision surgery on patients who sought treatment elsewhere and had no pain relief even after 2-3 years of surgery. It is a highly complicated procedure considering the complexity of the spinal cord anatomy. We are happy to have carried out this procedure on this young man and brought him out of pain. We have the technical expertise and state of the art equipment to treat such patients at our centre".


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