Last Updated on Aug 16, 2014

Complications of Brachial Plexus Injury

Erb’s palsy and Klumpke’s paralysis are complications of brachial plexus injuries that most often occur during difficult child births.

Some brachial plexus injuries resolve on their own with time. However, severe ones may lead to permanent disability.

  • Erb’s palsy, which is a form of brachial plexus palsy affecting the upper and lower arm. Often resulting from a difficult child birth, the condition affects the movement of the shoulder, arm and hand. The particular posture that ensues is called ‘waiter’s tip deformity’.
  • Klumpke’s paralysis, where the lower roots of the brachial plexus are affected, leads to a ‘claw hand deformity.’
  • Chronic pain that result from nerve damage
  • Loss of sensations: may lead to accidental burns
  • Atrophy of muscles, stiff joints
  • Permanent disability


  1. Davis, DH.; Onofrio, BM.; MacCarty, CS. (Dec 1978). "Brachial plexus injuries.". Mayo Clin Proc 53 (12): 799-807.
  2. Narakas, A.O. "The Treatment of Brachial Plexus Injuries." International Orthopaedics, June 1985. Web. 28 Jan. 2013.
  3. Lorei, MP.; Hershman, EB. (Aug 1993). "Peripheral nerve injuries in athletes. Treatment and prevention.". Sports Med 16 (2): 130-47.

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