Prospective study of recovery following neonatal brachial plexus injury

Michael J. Noetzel, T. S. Park, Shenandoah Robinson, Bruce Kaufman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The prognosis for recovery from brachial plexus injury sustained at or before birth is generally favorable. However, roughly 10% of these infants remain profoundly weak and later exhibit functional disability in the affected arm. Early identification of these at-risk infants would be helpful in selecting patients for surgical management. In our prospective study, 80 infants with brachial plexus injury were examined on a monthly basis. Complete recovery occurred in 53 (66%); in 9 (11%), mild weakness persisted. In each child, recovery to antigravity strength in the biceps, triceps, and deltoid was noted by 6 months of age. Moderate arm weakness persisted in 7 children (9%); none had antigravity strength in the deltoid at age 6 months. Eleven children (14%) had severe permanent weakness (mean follow-up: 4.4 years). At age 6 months, these individuals exhibited at best 2/5 strength proximally and typically 0-1/5 strength in the wrist and finger extensors. Our results demonstrate that detailed strength testing up to 6 months of age predicts not only complete recovery of neonatal brachial plexus injury but also those children destined for long-term severe disability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)488-492
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Child Neurology
Volume16
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

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Arm Injuries
Brachial Plexus
Prospective Studies
Arm
Wrist
Fingers
Parturition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology

Cite this

Prospective study of recovery following neonatal brachial plexus injury. / Noetzel, Michael J.; Park, T. S.; Robinson, Shenandoah; Kaufman, Bruce.

In: Journal of Child Neurology, Vol. 16, No. 7, 2001, p. 488-492.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Noetzel, MJ, Park, TS, Robinson, S & Kaufman, B 2001, 'Prospective study of recovery following neonatal brachial plexus injury', Journal of Child Neurology, vol. 16, no. 7, pp. 488-492.
Noetzel, Michael J. ; Park, T. S. ; Robinson, Shenandoah ; Kaufman, Bruce. / Prospective study of recovery following neonatal brachial plexus injury. In: Journal of Child Neurology. 2001 ; Vol. 16, No. 7. pp. 488-492.
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