Klumpke’s palsy sometimes goes by the name Klumpke paralysis. It may affect your newborn baby in Illinois if you had a difficult delivery that caused an injury to your baby’s shoulder and/or neck.

You may confuse Klumpke’s palsy with Erb’s palsy. They are similar in that each involves an injury to the brachial plexus, i.e., the collection of nerves around your baby’s shoulder that contributes to arm movement. According to the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center, the difference between Erb’s palsy and Klumpke’s palsy is that the latter affects the nerves controlling the lower arm and hand, while the former affects the upper arm and shoulder. Klumpke’s palsy is also less common than Erb’s palsy.

An unusual strain on the baby’s shoulder during birth can cause the nerves to stretch or tear. Neuropraxia is the name for damage that results from stretching of the nerves. These symptoms are usually temporary and resolve within six months to a year. However, when the nerves become torn, it is necessary to perform surgery in a timely fashion to reconnect the nerves. In the absence of surgery, symptoms of loss of hand and lower arm movement or weakness may be permanent in the presence of tearing of the brachial plexus. Nevertheless, this is rare.

The name for a torn nerve varies depending on where it occurs. An avulsion is a tear that occurs close to the spinal cord, from which the nerves extend. A rupture is a tear that occurs anywhere else along the nerve. Determining the extent of the nerve damage may require testing and X-ray imaging.

The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.