Doctors at Kauvery Hospital here have performed a complex spinal surgery to relieve the excruciating pain in the limbs of a 24-year-old man suffering from brachial plexus injury.
A release from the hospital said the youngster met with a road accident three years ago, which resulted in an injury to the brachial plexus, a network of nerves responsible for carrying signals from the spinal cord to the shoulders and arms.
G. Balamurali, consultant spine and neurosurgeon at the hospital, said when a person suffered damages to the brachial plexus, it would cause extreme pain and weakness of the limbs. “The pain experienced is so severe that some patients want their limbs removed,” he said.
Surgical procedures such as nerve transfer, muscle transfer or tendon transfer and management of pain with medications were often not very effective, he said. The doctors at Kauvery Hospital, therefore, performed a complex surgery on the spinal cord called Dorsal Root Entry Zone (DREZ) lesioning, which takes eight to 10 hours to complete.
“The spinal cord is lesioned at multiple levels where sensory components of the nerves enter it,” Dr. Balamurali said. He added that the surgery, when performed right, can relieve 90% of the pain. He said the patient, in this case, experienced complete pain relief.
Aravindan Selvaraj, co-founder and executive director, Kauvery Hospital, Chennai, said although brachial plexus injury was common, there was a lack of awareness on this procedure as many hospitals did not offer the treatment since only few experienced surgeons could perform it effectively.