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Obstetrical Brachial Plexus Palsy

Marcin Sibinski, MD, PhD1, Makandjou-Ola Eusebio1, Himanshu Sharma MS(Orth), FRCS(Tr & Orth)2, and Marek Synder, MD, PhD1

Obstetrical brachial plexus palsy (OBPP) is a rare disease with a reported incidence of 0.1%. The well-established risk factors for OBPP include high birth weight (>4.5 kg), shoulder dystocia, difficult delivery, breech delivery, maternal history of previous delivery complicated by OBPP, prolonged second stage of labor, maternal diabetes, and considerable maternal weight gain during pregnancy (>22 kg). Recovery of biceps function within 3–6 months is of favorable prognostic significance. The more severe the lesion, the less likely the infant is to achieve a full recovery. Patients with delayed recovery may benefit from microsurgical interventions. Contractures, bone deformities, and joint instability in the shoulder and forearm may develop as a result of muscle imbalance in growing children. Patients with persistent weakness, contractures, and deformities may require reconstructive procedures. Adv Orthop 2009;1(4):135–142.

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