klumpkes palsy

Klumpke's Palsy

What Is Klumpke's Palsy?

Klumpke's Palsy is a birth injury that occurs when a baby sustains injury to the brachial plexus along the thoracic region, or the nerves running from the neck through the shoulder and arms, during birth. Statistics show that there is a brachial plexus injury every five hundred to one thousand births. Klumpke's Palsy is one of several brachial plexus injuries. These injuries also include Brachial Plexus Palsy, Erb's Palsy, and Shoulder Dystocia.

Causes of Klumpke's Palsy

Klumpke's Palsy is caused by damage to the thoracic nerves along the brachial plexus, and differs from Erb's Palsy based solely on the location of nerve damage. There are four basic nerve injuries suffered during delivery that can result in Klumpke's Palsy:

  • An avulsion occurs when the nerve is torn from the spine during birth.
  • A rupture occurs when the nerve tears, but remains attached to the spine.
  • When the nerve attempts to heal itself after being torn, a neuroma can form. A neuroma is scar tissue that occurs when the nerve attempts to heal itself after being torn.
  • A praxis occurs when the nerve does not tear, and often heals by itself in a three to six months.

Prevention of Klumpke's Palsy

Klumpke's Palsy, can be prevented by anticipating the various risk factors that lead to it. These risk factors include gestational diabetes, excessive weight gain from pregnancy, obesity, expectant mothers with a small pelvis, mothers who have previously given birth to large babies, and mothers in post-term pregnancy. Klumpke's palsy is preventable in most cases. Doctor's should know how to ensure a healthy delivery, whether complications arise or not. Up to three in a thousand births suffer a brachial plexus injury during delivery, sometimes causing Klumpke's Palsy. Medical malpractice or negligence could be the cause.

Symptoms of Klumpke's Palsy

Symptoms of Klumpke's Palsy occur from damage to the seventh and eighth cervical and first thoracic nerves. Common signs of Klumpke's palsy are a limp hand and immobile fingers. Sometimes, a child suffering Klumpke's Palsy will also suffer from Horner's Syndrome, which causes droopy eyelids and different eye and pupil sizes.

Klumpke's Palsy Treatment

Treatment of Klumpke's Palsy includes surgery that attempt to repair the damaged nerves. Physical therapy and daily exercise are recommended to increase or maintain range of motion in the affected side. There is usually no physical improvement after two years of age. An occupational therapist can sometimes help the patient learn to live with the condition. If you believe or want to find out if your child's injuries could have been prevented or were a result of medical malpractice, negligence, misdiagnosis, or not diagnosed at all, contact our birth injury attorneys. When doctors, nurses, staff, and medical facilities fall below the minimum standard of skill and care to which their profession demands, medical malpractice and negligence is an unfortunate but likely result. At the Rasansky Law Firm, we question why these healthcare professionals failed to do everything possible to prevent your child's injuries. We regularly consult with Board Certified Obstetrician Gynecologists, Maternal Fetal Specialists, Neonatologists, and Pediatric Neurologists to determine whether your child's injuries should have been prevented. Does your child suffer from symptoms of Klumpke's Palsy? Contact the Rasansky Law Firm online, or call our offices anytime at 1-877-659-1620 to discuss your child's situation with our experienced birth injury attorneys. In the complimentary consultation, our attorneys will review your experiences and situation and provide you information regarding your legal rights, options, and responsibilities.


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