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Diaphram Paralysis

The diaphragm is a two-piece flat muscle that separates the chest and abdominal cavities. Paralysis of this muscle is uncommon.

Causes and Risk Factors

  • Cancer
  • Trauma
  • Neuromuscular disorders.

Patients with unilateral (or one sided) diaphragmatic paralysis are typically asymptomatic and do not need treatment. Patients may have some difficulty breathing in situations associated with exertion or if they have an underlying pulmonary disease. Treatment should be considered when shortness of breath is out of proportion to the physical exertion. Medical care should be focused on the source of the dysfunction. In anatomic causes and defects, the only treatment option is surgical repair. Once an anatomic cause is suspected, the most important next step is to discover the cause. Neurologic processes, depending on the source, can generally be treated medically.