Amid reading about brachial plexus injuries, you may repeatedly come across two medical conditions that make you curious. Those conditions are Erb’s palsy and Klumpke’s palsy. While Erb’s and Klumpke’s palsy are similar in that they are both brachial plexus injuries, you may wonder about the differences between them. Here, we’ll look at what separates Erb’s and Klumpke’s palsy.
Both Erb’s and Klumpke’s palsy, as brachial plexus injuries, involve an injury to the brachial plexus network of nerves, which controls movement of the hand, wrist, elbow, and shoulder.
A major difference between Klumpke’s and Erb’s palsy is that damage to the upper part of the brachial plexus causes Erb’s Palsy, while damage to the lower part causes Klumpke’s. More specifically, Erb’s palsy results from an injury to nerve roots C5 and C6, while Klumpke’s palsy results from an injury to the C8 and T1 nerves.
The classic sign of Erb’s palsy is the “waiter’s tip hand.” The arm hangs limply from the shoulder, the forearm is internally rotated, and the hand and wrist are flexed (see picture below).
Klumpke’s palsy also involves the muscles of the forearm and hand. The classical sign of Klumpke’s palsy is the “claw hand” where the forearm is externally rotated and the wrist and fingers are flexed (see picture above).
While both injuries can be prevented by medical professionals taking specific steps (including fetal monitoring, careful birth delivery, ordering a C-section, etc.), the financial burden of raising a child who is severely affected by a birth injury, such as Erb’s or Klumpke’s palsy, is often huge.
If your child has suffered a birth injury you may have questions or concerns about your legal options. If you believe your child’s injury may have been caused by the negligence of a doctor or member of the medical staff, call me. I can answer your legal questions and would love to talk with you. You can reach me at 410-513-9978 or by email at Stefan.firstname.lastname@example.org.