Diagnosis at Mayo Clinic

By Mayo Clinic Staff


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Prompt referral and initial evaluation is needed after a brachial plexus injury, because nerve damage can be irreversible if not treated promptly. The medical team evaluates each patient to assess the severity of the injury, including a detailed history and exam, as well as special diagnostic tests, which may include:

  • X-ray
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) — produces three-dimensional, detailed images of the brachial plexus, blood vessels, spinal cord and shoulder joint
  • Computerized tomography (CT) myelogram — Dye is injected into the spinal fluid to detect nerve avulsion
  • Electromyogram (EMG) — tests electrical activity in muscles
  • Nerve conduction study — measures how quickly nerves are transmitting electrical signals
Feb. 24, 2011