Brachial plexus injury as a complication after colorectal surgery

S. Brill, S. Walfisch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Peripheral neuropathy associated with anesthesia is a significant source of morbidity and the second most frequent cause of professional liability in anesthetic practice. Nerve injuries are a well-recognised complication of anesthesia. Brachial plexus neuropathy is a rare syndrome with an incidence of 1.6 cases per 100 000. Unfortunately, we have a limited understanding of the relations between conventional perioperative care and the genesis of peripheral neuropathy. We describe 3 cases of postoperative brachial plexus neuropathy that occurred after abdominoperineal anterior resection for rectal cancer. The symptoms resolved postoperatively in two patients by 8 weeks and in one patient by 10 weeks with conservative treatment. The differential diagnosis between brachial plexus neuropathy and other peripheral neuropathies is important, as the prognosis of brachial plexus neuropathy is generally better. The anesthetist and the surgeon should know the risks of positioning to prevent nerve injuries, and should be aware of the possibility of brachial neuropathy in order to properly make an early diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-141
Number of pages3
JournalTechniques in Coloproctology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Brachial plexus injury
  • Colorectal surgery
  • Complications
  • Positioning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Gastroenterology


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