Disease at a Glance

Summary
"Klumpke paralysis is a rare type of birth injury to the nerves around a newborn's shoulder, known as the brachial plexus. Most types of brachial plexus injuries affect the shoulder and upper arm. Klumpke paralysis affects the movement of the lower arm and hand. Signs and symptoms include weakness and loss of movement of the lower arm and hand. Some babies experience drooping of the eyelid on the opposite side of the face as well. This symptom may also be referred to as Horner syndrome. Klumpke paralysis is caused by an injury to the nerves of the brachial plexus that which may result during birth due to a a difficult delivery. This injury can cause a stretch injury (neuropraxia), scarring, or tearing of the brachial plexus nerves. Tearing is called an ""avulsion' when the tear is at the spine, and 'rupture' when it is not. Diagnosis of Klumpke paralysis is made at birth by physical examination. Sometimes x-rays and other tests are done to determine the extent of the nerve damage. Most infants with Klumpke paralysis have the more mild form of injury (neuropraxia) and often recover within 6 months. Some infants will require surgery. Rarely, infants with Klumpke paralysis will have some permanent damage. "
Estimated Number of People with this Disease

This section is currently in development.

What Information Does GARD Have For This Disease?

Many rare diseases have limited information. Currently GARD is able to provide the following information for this disease:

*Data may be currently unavailable to GARD at this time.
Categories
When do symptoms of this disease begin?
This section is currently in development. 

Symptoms

This section is currently in development. We recommend speaking with a doctor to learn more about this disease. 

Causes

This section is currently in development. 

Next Steps

Talking with the Medical Team

Good communication between the patient, family, and medical team can lead to an accurate diagnosis. In addition, health care decisions can be made together which improves the patient’s well-being and quality of life.

Describing Symptoms

Describe details about the symptoms. Because there may be many different causes for a single symptom, it is best not to make a conclusion about the diagnosis. The detailed descriptions help the medical provider determine the correct diagnosis.

To help describe a symptom:

  • Use a smartphone or a notebook to record each symptom before the appointment
  • Describe each symptom by answering the following questions:
    • When did the symptom start?
    • How often does it happen?
    • Does anything make it better or worse?
  • Tell the medical team whether any symptoms affect daily activities

Preparing for the First Visit

Working with a medical team to find a diagnosis can be a long process that will require more than one appointment. Make better health decisions by being prepared for the first visit with each member of the medical team.

    Make informed decisions about health care: 
    • Prepare a list of questions and concerns before the appointment
    • List the most important questions first, not all questions may be answered in the first visit
    • Ask questions about symptoms, possible diagnoses, tests, and treatment options
    For future appointments:
    • Discuss what was not addressed at the last visit
    • Discuss changes in the quality of life for the patient, family, and caregivers
    • Discuss health goals and other issues in the patient’s and family’s life that may affect the health care decisions
    Take notes during the appointments to help remember what was discussed.

    Last Updated: Nov. 8, 2021