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J Hand Surg Am. 2010 Feb;35(2):322-31. doi: 10.1016/j.jhsa.2009.11.026.

Current concepts in the management of brachial plexus birth palsy.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Children's Hospital Boston, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Brachial plexus birth palsy, although rare, may result in substantial and chronic impairment. Physiotherapy, microsurgical nerve reconstruction, secondary joint corrections, and muscle transpositions are employed to help the child maximize function in the affected upper extremity. Many present controversies regarding natural history, microsurgical treatment, and secondary shoulder reconstructive surgery remain unresolved in infants with brachial plexus birth palsies. Recent literature has enhanced our understanding of the pathoanatomy and natural history of the injury as well as the surgical indications, expected outcomes, and complications; this literature has led to improved care of these patients. Based on the present evidence, recommendations for both microsurgery and shoulder reconstruction with tendon transfer and arthroscopic and open reductions are presented.

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