4 doctors weighed in:

Can a brachial plexus injury also affect your breathing?

4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Raja Nandyal
Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Yes

When there is damage to higher brachial plexuses (involving cervical 4 part of spinal cord), it can cause see-saw breathing from the involvement of one or both sides of the diaphragm; if there is pneumothorax (air leak) because of rupture of pleura (lung cover) from the fracture of collar bone (clavicle), it can cause of severe pain and respiratory difficulty (can be life threatening), also.

In brief: Yes

When there is damage to higher brachial plexuses (involving cervical 4 part of spinal cord), it can cause see-saw breathing from the involvement of one or both sides of the diaphragm; if there is pneumothorax (air leak) because of rupture of pleura (lung cover) from the fracture of collar bone (clavicle), it can cause of severe pain and respiratory difficulty (can be life threatening), also.
Dr. Raja Nandyal
Dr. Raja Nandyal
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Dr. James Cummings
Pediatrics - Neonatology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Yes

The vast majority of cases of brachial plexus injury are not associated with breathing problems.
However, in some cases the extent of nerve damage reaches higher cervical roots. If the 4th cervical root is involved, there may be damage to the phrenic nerve, which controls movement of the diaphragm. In these cases, there may be some breathing difficulty on the associated side.

In brief: Yes

The vast majority of cases of brachial plexus injury are not associated with breathing problems.
However, in some cases the extent of nerve damage reaches higher cervical roots. If the 4th cervical root is involved, there may be damage to the phrenic nerve, which controls movement of the diaphragm. In these cases, there may be some breathing difficulty on the associated side.
Dr. James Cummings
Dr. James Cummings
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