Klumpke’s paralysis (or Klumpke’s palsy or Dejerine-Klumpke palsy) is a variety of partial palsy of the lower roots of the brachial plexus. The brachial plexus is a network of spinal nerves that originates in the back of the neck, extends through the axilla (armpit), and gives rise to nerves to the upper limb.
Klumpke’s paralysis is a form of paralysis involving the muscles of the forearm and hand, resulting from a brachial plexus injury in which the eighth cervical and first thoracic nerves are injured either before or after they have joined to form the lower trunk. The subsequent paralysis affects, principally, the muscles of the hand and the flexors of the wrist and fingers.
The classic presentation of Klumpke’s palsy is the “claw hand” where the forearm is supinated and the wrist and fingers are flexed. If Horner’s syndrome is present, there is constriction of the pupils in the affected eye.
The injury can result from difficulties in childbirth. The most common cause is a traumatic vaginal delivery, necessitated by shoulder dystocia. The risk is greater when the mother is small or when the infant is of large weight. Risk of injury to the lower brachial plexus results from traction on an abducted arm, as with an infant being pulled from the birth canal by an extended arm above the head or with someone catching himself by a branch as he falls from a tree. Lower brachial plexus injuries should be distinguished from upper brachial plexus injuries, which can also result from birth trauma, but give a different syndrome of weakness known as Erb’s palsy.
If your baby suffers from Klumpke’s palsy as a result of a shoulder injury at birth, please contact our office and speak with a member of the firm. The applicable statute of limitations is likely already running, so timing can be critically important to your case. Contact us today for a free, no obligation, confidential legal consultation.
Inland Empire & Southern California Malpractice Attorneys Located in Redlands, CA Serving clients in: San Bernardino County | Riverside County | Los Angeles County | Orange County | San Diego County
Raynes Erickson, Attorneys at Law focuses its practice on the legal representation of clients who are victims of medical malpractice, catastrophic injury, or wrongful death. Contact us today to learn more about your legal rights and how our litigation team can help you receive the compensation you deserve.