What is a plexopathy?

Plexopathy refers to a disorder of a network of nerves causing pain, weakness, and sensory deficits. This may be due to trauma to an area (such as with an avulsion injury), mass effect (such as from metastatic cancer), or entrapment (such as with the brachial plexus in thoracic outlet syndrome). Plexopathies include brachial plexopathy affecting areas innervated by C5 to T1, lumbar plexopathy affecting areas innervated by L1 to L4, and sacral plexopathy affecting areas innervated by L5 to S3. Any plexopathy would be expected to provoke neuropathic symptoms in the correlating distribution. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and/or electromyography/nerve conduction study (EMG/NCS) may be helpful in diagnosis.


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