JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Complete brachial plexus palsy after total shoulder arthroplasty done with interscalene block anesthesia.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: This report illustrates that brachial plexus palsy can result from either interscalene block or total shoulder arthroplasty. It is often impossible to determine which procedure caused the deficit; therefore, we believe the focus should be placed on treatment of the neurologic deficit. This report provides a suggested algorithm for diagnosis and treatment of postprocedure brachial plexus palsy.

METHODS: Interscalene block was used as the operative anesthetic for our patient's total shoulder arthroplasty. Complete brachial plexus palsy was diagnosed postoperatively.

RESULTS: The patient's postoperative treatment and recovery are described.

CONCLUSIONS: Proper diagnosis and treatment of postprocedure brachial plexus palsy may improve recovery of function. Several precautions may reduce the likelihood of brachial plexus palsy following interscalene block for total shoulder arthroplasty.

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