Table of Contents
ISRN Pediatrics
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 307039, 7 pages
Clinical Study

Risk Factors at Birth for Permanent Obstetric Brachial Plexus Injury and Associated Osseous Deformities

Research Division, Texas Nerve and Paralysis Institute, Houston, TX 77030, USA

Received 12 September 2011; Accepted 31 October 2011

Academic Editor: G. J. Casimir

Copyright © 2012 Rahul K. Nath et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Purpose. To examine the most prevalent risk factors found in patients with permanent obstetric brachial plexus injury (OBPI) to identify better predictors of injury. Methods. A population-based study was performed on 241 OBPI patients who underwent surgical treatment at the Texas Nerve and Paralysis Institute. Results. Shoulder dystocia (97%) was the most prevalent risk factor. We found that 80% of the patients in this study were not macrosomic, and 43% weighed less than 4000 g at birth. The rate of instrument use was 41% , which is 4-fold higher than the 10% predicted for all vaginal deliveries in the United States. Posterior subluxation and glenoid version measurements in children with no finger movement at birth indicated a less severe shoulder deformity in comparison with those with finger movement. Conclusions. The average birth weight in this study was indistinguishable from the average birth weight reported for all brachial plexus injuries. Higher birth weight does not, therefore, affect the prognosis of brachial plexus injury. We found forceps/vacuum delivery to be an independent risk factor for OBPI, regardless of birth weight. Permanently injured patients with finger movement at birth develop more severe bony deformities of the shoulder than patients without finger movement.