Objective: This study aims to provide information about epidemiological factors related to traumatic brachial plexus injuries in adults.
Method: Prospective analysis of 35 consecutive cases, observed in a period of one year.
Results: Most of the lesions were supraclavicular (62%). Twenty-one cases occurred due to traction (60%), 9 to gun shot wound (25%), 3 to compression (8.5%) and two perforation/laceration (5.7%). Motorcycle accidents were the cause of trauma in 54% of patients. CT myelography demonstrated root avulsion in 16 cases (76%). Partial spontaneous neurological recovery was observed in 43% of the patients. Neuropathic pain occurred in 25 (71%) cases, and the use of some oral intake drugs (as amitriptyline or carbamazepine) controlled it in 64% of times.
Conclusion: Traction is the most frequent mechanism related to brachial plexus injuries, and root avulsions are common in this cases. Pain and concomitant lesions are frequently observed in these group. In this series, the rate of incidence to the local population was 1.75/100000/year.