Brachial Plexus Injuries/Stereotactic Procedures in Tunisia

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About the Brachial Plexus Injuries/Stereotactic Procedures

Brachial plexus injury is a medical emergency caused due to an injury to the brachial plexus group of nerves that sends signals from your spine to your shoulder, arm, and hand. These nerves control and administer feelings in the muscles of the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand, and arm. This damage is also known as brachial plexopathy. Brachial plexus injury appears when these nerves are compressed, stretched, or in the most serious case, ripped apart from the spinal cord. Some brachial plexus injuries known as stingers or burners are inconsequential and will completely recover in a few weeks. However, other brachial plexus injuries are severe enough and may cause some permanent impairment in the arm. In severe conditions, it can paralyze your arm, with a failure of function and sensation.


Brachial Plexus Injury Causes

Brachial plexus injury results when the brachial nerves are damaged by excessive stretching, pressure, or cutting. Stretching can occur when your shoulder is forced down while your neck stretches up and away from the injured shoulder such as during a motorcycle or a car accident. In case of a serious injury, the brachial nerve may rip off the spinal cord in the neck. This type of brachial plexus injury is classified as traumatic brachial plexus injuries. It may occur because of different reasons, including:

  • Contact sports: Contact sports players may experience burners or stingers, which can occur when the nerves in the brachial plexus get stretched above their limits during collisions with other players.
  • Trauma: Several types of trauma, including motorcycle and car accidents or bullet wounds, can result in a brachial plexus injury.
  • Inflammation: Inflammation may also cause damage to the brachial plexus. An uncommon condition known as Parsonage-Turner syndrome or brachial plexitis causes brachial plexus inflammation without any trauma.
  • Tumors: Noncancerous (benign) or cancerous tumors may damage the brachial plexus.
  • Childbirth: Injury during complication of childbirth.

Brachial plexopathy may also result from exposure to radiation at the time of stereotactic radiosurgery or specific procedures such as stereotactic breast biopsy.


Brachial Plexus Injury Symptoms

Symptoms of the brachial plexus injury depend on the seriousness of the injury. A minor injury can often occur during any contact sport and minor trauma when the brachial plexus nerves get stretched or compressed. Minor brachial plexus injury symptoms include the following:

  • Burning sensation and shocks shooting down your arm
  • Weakness and numbness in your arm

More serious brachial plexus injury symptoms result when nerves are torn or ruptured. Such injuries may produce the following symptoms:

  • Weakness or inability to use certain muscles of hand, arm or shoulder
  • Complete lack of movement and feelings (paralysis) in your arm, including your shoulder and hand
  • Severe pain

In case of childbirth brachial plexus injury, symptoms can be seen right after the birth of the child. These may include:

  • No movement in the upper or lower arm or hand of the baby
  • Arm flexed (bent) at the elbow and held against the body
  • Absence of Moro reflex on the affected side
  • Decreased grip on the affected side

How is Brachial Plexus Injuries/Stereotactic Procedures performed?

Some common types of surgical brachial plexus injury treatment include the following:

  • Nerve grafting: Surgically removing and replacing the damaged part of the brachial plexus with sections of nerves harvested from other parts of the body is called nerve grafting. 
  • Nerve transfer: This type of surgery is opted when the nerve root has been torn from the spinal cord. A surgeon often takes a less important nerve that is still attached to the spinal cord and connects it to the nerve that is ripped off from the spinal cord. Occasionally, a combination of nerve graft and nerve transfer is performed.
  • Muscle transfer: During this surgery, your surgeon removes a less important muscle or ligament from another part of your body and transfers it to your arm, and restores the nerves and blood vessels supplying that muscle.

Recovery from Brachial Plexus Injuries/Stereotactic Procedures

It is very hard to assess an exact recovery time after brachial plexus injury treatment due to the broad spectrum. How likely a spontaneous recovery depends on the type and severity of the injury.

In the case of surgery, nerve tissue grows very slowly, about an inch a month, so it can take a few years to assess the success of brachial plexus injury surgery. However, during the recovery period, patients are encouraged to keep their joints flexible by following an exercise schedule. The success rate of surgery is quite good but recovery time and success rate must be assessed on an individual basis.

Patient Stories

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the health care infrastructure of Tunisia / Why should opt for Tunisia as a destination for your medical treatment?
Hospitals in Tunisia are developing and trying to meet the international standards of healthcare. Although there is a basic set up in most of the hospitals for treatment in Tunisia, one can still expect scope for improvement. The Ministry of Health, along with the Government of Tunisia is making effective changes for the healthcare sector. The private hospitals in Tunisia are also undergoing a robust change to provide effective healthcare and treatment in Tunisia.

Like most other countries, hospitals in Tunisia have a private and public healthcare system. Hospitals in Tunisia include three levels of care: primary, with a network of 81 clinics and 2091 basic health centers; secondary, with 109 district hospitals; and tertiary, with 33 regional hospitals and 24 modern CHUs, according to MoS figures.
What are the conditions of the hospitals in Tunisia? Are they JCI certified? What is the quality of the support staff in the hospitals?
The Joint Commission International (JCI) is a global leader in health care accreditation. JCI accreditation is considered a gold standard in worldwide health care. It provides the most skilled and experienced healthcare professionals in the medical industry, as evaluators of the rigorous international standards in healthcare quality and patient safety.
In Tunisia, there are no JCI accredited hospitals but 4 private hospitals are certified ISO and OHSAS (Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series).
Are the doctors/surgeons in Tunisia of the best quality?
The hospitals in Tunisia have seen a constant change in terms of development and technology. Most doctors that are trained in the country understand the needs and requirements of people and are able to diagnose and treat them well. There are various surgeons that fly in from other countries as well to treat patients. This was brought about due to the economic reforms and various expats residing there. The varying levels of health organizations provide reasonable means of treatment for any patient. There are also trained paramedical and emergency service staff in this country.
What is the process for obtaining a medical visa in Tunisia?
Patients who wish to visit Tunisia for medical purposes must contact the Embassy of Tunisia in their home country. One is required to have a valid passport. Those applicants must submit their visa application forms in person together with the following documents:
  1. A duly completed application form with one picture (within a white background).
  2. Original biometric passport and one copy. Passports should have a validity of at least one year from the date of your visa application submission.
  3. Medical certificate stating the type of illness and the treatment to be carried out. This document has to be in English or Spanish language.
  4. Letter from the hospital in Tunisia stating the appointment date and whether the treatment expenses have been already paid in full.
  5. Proof of financial means which enable the applicant to meet life needs while in Tunisia (salary certificate if working, bank statement for the last six months, property deeds, commercial license, other sorts of income).
  6. Travel insurance.
  7. Proof of accommodation (hotel reservation, etc)
  8. Applicants are advised that ALL PASSPORTS HAVE TO REMAIN at the Embassy premises while the visa application is under process (between 10 and 15 days), and therefore cannot be retrieved unless very special and urgent circumstances might arise.
  9. The Embassy has the right to require from the applicant any document that it may deem relevant in order to resolve the visa file.
What support services does MediGence provide in Tunisia?
MediGence enables you to plan and manage your medical decisions better. These are some of our services offered:
  • Expert Opinion
    We help you seek an Expert Opinion on your diagnosis and treatment from an experienced team of doctors at MediGence and specialists from a reputable hospital.
  • Hospital Recommendation
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  • 360-degree Hospital Review
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  • Doctor Validation and Communication
    We share a comprehensive profile of the treating doctor and also arrange a call to clear queries regarding treatment if needed.
  • Options to Choose From
    Based on your choice of destination and other preferences, we provide you multiple options with respect to hospitals and doctors to choose from.
  • 24X7 Patient Care Support
    A dedicated patient case manager stays in constant touch with you to help you at every step of the decision-making process and resolve queries that you may have.
  • Transparent Treatment Cost and Other Expenses
    We give a clear and accurate indication of the total cost of treatment including treatment, stay, meals, and other expenses.
  • Visa Assistance
    We provide and help prepare documentation for visa approval and coordinate with the embassy to expedite the visa process.
  • Accommodation Arrangements
    We propose to you a choice of accommodation based on your preference such as long stay, short stay, or luxury properties.
Which are the best cities in Tunisia for medical treatment?
Tunis is the largest country and capital of Tunisia. This country is located in the northern region of Africa and is the best city for treatment in Tunisia.

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