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J Athl Train. 1993 Fall; 28(3): 263–267.
PMCID: PMC1317724

Systematic Evaluation Of Brachial Plexus Injuries

Scott Haynes, MEd, ATC


Brachial plexus injuries offer a unique challenge to the athletic trainer because of their relatively high frequency rate in contact sports and because of the complexity of the neuroanatomy in the cervical area. During a game, athletic trainers must make a fast, accurate decision regarding a player's return to competition. It is imperative that the athletic trainer be able to quickly differentiate between minor injuries and more serious injuries warranting removal from the game and/or physician referral. A systematic approach to the evaluation of a brachial plexus injury is essential to ensure proper treatment. This paper will present a structured approach to an on-the-field assessment of brachial plexus injuries.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Clancy WG, Jr, Brand RL, Bergfield JA. Upper trunk brachial plexus injuries in contact sports. Am J Sports Med. 1977 Sep-Oct;5(5):209–216. [PubMed]
  • Leffert RD. Clinical diagnosis, testing, and electromyographic study in brachial plexus traction injuries. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1988 Dec;(237):24–31. [PubMed]
  • Robertson WC, Jr, Eichman PL, Clancy WG. Upper trunk brachial plexopathy in football players. JAMA. 1979 Apr 6;241(14):1480–1482. [PubMed]
  • Vegso JJ, Torg E, Torg JS. Rehabilitation of cervical spine, brachial plexus, and peripheral nerve injuries. Clin Sports Med. 1987 Jan;6(1):135–158. [PubMed]

Articles from Journal of Athletic Training are provided here courtesy of National Athletic Trainers Association