Obstetrical Brachial Plexus Palsies

These injuries occur when the brachial plexus is stretched during a childbirth. They can result in partial or complete paralysis of the upper extremity. These typically heal completely or nearly completely without the need for surgery. Those patients who do not heal on their own generally undergo surgery to repair the brachial plexus.

Six month old child who sustained a right-sided upper trunk obstetrical brachial plexus palsy during childbirth. The right arm displays characteristic deficits in shoulder abduction, arm flexion, and supination as the child attempts to lift the hands above the head (compare to the normal left side).