Brachial neuritis (BN) is a fairly rare inflammation of the network of nerves running from the cervical spine (neck) to the top of the thoracic spine (back) and into the axilla (armpit) and arms. Though its exact cause is unknown, its effects are sudden sharp or radiating pain in the shoulder and arms that lasts for a brief period (10 days or less), followed by weakness and/or numbness. Typically, it will heal in a few months to a year, however, in severe cases, it can cause partial or complete arm paralysis.
It is important to have an accurate diagnosis of BN made, since there is a high risk of misdiagnosing the symptoms as that of a compressive lesion or herniated disc, which could result in unnecessary surgery.
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The Nerve Disorders Center of Northwell Health Neuroscience Institute is comprised of a multidisciplinary team of peripheral nerve disorders clinicians including physicians, nurse practitioners, psychological care providers and rehabilitation professionals.