What is the Difference between Erb’s Palsy and Klumpke’s Palsy?

Oregon birth injury lawyers

Understanding Brachial Plexus Nerve Injuries: What is the Difference Between Erb’s Palsy and Klumpke’s Palsy?


As you could probably guess, the arm and shoulder had a lot of nerves running through them.  This is because the shoulder has to house all of the nerves and vessels going down the entire arm which supply the entire arm, wrist, and hand.  The hand has some of the most concentrated nerve endings in the fingers which help govern movement, sensation, and other functions.  While these nerves in the arm are strong, they are not impermeable to injury.  This is especially true for newborns.  They can be seriously injured or torn in certain instances where the baby’s arm is yanked, twisted, pulled, or otherwise improperly manipulated.  This means that individuals could suffer serious personal injuries including two conditions known as Erb’s Palsy or Klumpke’s Palsy.  These conditions are serious and could result in really devastating or debilitating harm to a newborn for the rest of his or her life.


What is a Brachial Plexus Injury and How Does it Happen?


The brachial plexus is a bundle of nerves which originates off of the cervical (neck) spine.  These nerves are thin before they form the brachial plexus which goes through the shoulder girdle.  These nerves govern everything from movement to sensation.  Damage to these nerves can permanently shut off the arm.


A brachial plexus injury is caused by pulling, yanking, or twisting of the arm.  Usually this occurs during the birthing process such as labor and delivery.  The brachial plexus can be injured in situations where the baby is stuck in the birthing canal and the baby’s head is pulled one way but the arm is pulled another.  This typically is when a doctor is pulling on a baby’s arm to help facilitate the birthing process or to help avoid an emergency situation such as when the baby is stuck and being compressed due to contractions.


What is Erb’s Palsy?


Erb’s Palsy is a type of brachial plexus injury.  However it is only a partial brachial plexus injury to a certain nerve or set of nerves.  Erb’s palsy is when the brachial plexus nerves which govern the upper arm are damaged.  This means that a person may have difficulty operating the top part of their arm, including the shoulder or upper biceps.  Sometimes this extends to the almost the elbow.  This can cause a decrease in muscle tone.


What is Klumpke’s Palsy?


This is another type of brachial plexus injury and affects the lower part of the arm.  This means that Klumpke’s Palsy could affect how a person operates his or her lower arm, including the wrist, hand, or fingers.  This include can also result in decreases muscle tone but also a decrease in dexterity with the fingers including writing, typing, or buttoning a shirt.  Victims with Klumpke’s palsy  usually have control over their upper arm, but sometimes they may have difficulty with their upper arm.


Was a Loved One Diagnosed With a Brachial Plexus Injury, Erb’s Palsy, or Klumpke’s Palsy?  Ask Our Law Firm For Help


If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of medical malpractice contact the Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form.  We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover. 


Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Sisters, Madras, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, La Grande, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton,  Cottage Grove, Florence, Oregon City, Springfield, Keizer, Grants Pass, McMinnville, Tualatin, West Linn, Forest Grove, Wilsonville, Newberg, Roseburg, Lake Oswego, Klamath Falls, Happy Valley, Tigard, Ashland, Milwakie, Coos Bay, The Dalles,  St. Helens, Sherwood, Central Point, Canby, Troutdale, Hermiston, Silverton, Hood River, Newport, Prineville, Astoria, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Vancouver, Washington.  


We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take medical malpractice cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.  


Please act quickly, there is a limited time (Statute of Limitations) in which you can bring a claim under the law.

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