Brachial Plexus Birth Palsy

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Contact the Brachial Plexus Program

  • 617-355-6021
  • International: +1-617-355-5209
  • Locations

What is brachial plexus birth palsy?

If your child has brachial plexus birth palsy, it means that during childbirth she had an injury to the brachial plexus network of nerves that travel from her neck, through the shoulder region down to the arm and hand. The brachial plexus nerve network provides the electrical power to all the muscles of her arm.

Brachial plexus birth palsy occurs in about one to three out of every 1,000 babies born. The condition’s severity and type depend on where in the nerve injury occurs and whether the injury is a stretch, an incomplete tear or a complete tear (avulsion).

In over half of cases, the injury heals itself within the first month to six weeks. Nerve surgery may be recommended if marked weakness persists after three to six months. Some children benefit from muscle, tendon, bone and joint surgery between years age 2-5 years. Brachial plexus birth palsy is a serious but treatable condition.

Care for brachial plexus birth palsy

The Boston Children’s Hospital Brachial Plexus Program has treated hundreds to thousands of babies and children — as well as adolescents, young adults and even professional athletes who’ve sustained traumatic BP injury.

Some of the world’s most advanced clinical research into BP anatomy and treatment is coming from Boston Children’s researchers. So, we can provide your child with expert diagnosis, treatment and care — as well as the benefits of some of the best brachial plexus birth palsy clinical and scientific research in the world.

As one of the first comprehensive, multidisciplinary programs, Boston Children’s Orthopedic Center is the nation’s largest and most experienced pediatric orthopedic surgery center, performing more than 6,000 surgical procedures each year. Our program — ranked by U.S. News & World Report — is the preeminent care and research center for children and young adults with congenital, neuromuscular, developmental and post-traumatic musculoskeletal problems.

As a national and international referral center for children with brachial plexus birth palsy, the Brachial Plexus Program within the Orthopedic Care Center is among the largest in the world—caring for more than 1,200 children with brachial plexus birth palsy since its inception.

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944

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