Brachial plexus palsy is diagnosed in the newborn nursery. Both the Department of Plastic Surgery and Department of Neurosurgery treat brachial plexus palsy. During the first 2-6 months after birth, specialists on the team work together to restore normal functioning in the infant's arm.

What Is Brachial Plexus?

Brachial plexus palsy is caused by a birth injury to the brachial plexus, the nerve network that controls movement and sensation of the arm. The main result of this injury is weak or paralyzed muscles in the shoulder, arm, and hand. Fortunately, most infants with this condition make complete spontaneous recovery. Some, however, are left with varying degrees of arm weakness.

Among infants who do not recover spontaneously, some will require physical therapy and occupational therapy only, and others will need both therapy and surgery. Children who develop deformities in the shoulder, arm, or hand may need orthopaedic treatment. In all cases, treatment must be started early to ensure the greatest improvement.

    Conditions We Treat

    Why Choose Us?

    St. Louis Children’s Hospital is consistently ranked among the nation’s best pediatric hospitals by U.S. News & World Report, the most comprehensive source of quality-related information on U.S. pediatric hospitals. We follow one simple mission – to do what’s right for kids. That mission comes to life through medical discovery, innovative therapies and compassionate care.

    Best Children's Hospitals

    We offer world-class care to children thanks in part to generous gifts from hundreds of people who have joined us as Guardians of Childhood. This philanthropic support enabled us to fulfill our mission to do what's right for kids. Join us in making health care better for all children.

    Learn More