Function in unaffected arms of children with obstetric brachial plexus palsy

Published:March 26, 2018DOI:


      • Obstetric brachial plexus palsy causes restriction in activities of daily living.
      • Unaffected upper extremities of the patients function significantly worse.
      • This difference seems to disappear as the patients grow up.
      • Rehabilitation programs may play an important role this improvement.



      The objective is to compare the fine and gross motor function of unaffected arms of children with obstetric brachial plexus palsy (OBBP) with typically developing children's dominant upper extremities.


      Fifty-three patients with OBBP and fifty-one typically developing children between the age of 4 and 13 were included in the study. For gross motor function evaluation in the upper extremity box-block test (BBT), for fine motor skill nine-hole peg (9HP) test was used. For grasp and pinch strength measurements, a Jamar dynamometer is used.


      The patient group performed significantly worse in 9HP and BBT tests. When further divided into age groups, 4–8 age patient group performed significantly worse in 9HP and BBT tests, while there were no differences in children in the 9–13 age group.


      The fine and gross motor functions of the unaffected arms of children with OBPP are significantly worse in children between the ages of four and eight but this deficit improves with age, and possibly with ongoing therapy.


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      Linked Article

      • Function of the unaffected arms of children with neonatal brachial plexus injuries
        European Journal of Paediatric NeurologyVol. 22Issue 4
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          The incidence of neonatal brachial plexus injury is between 0.4 and 5.1 in 1000 live births, about half the incidence of cerebral palsy. Many of the articles about neonatal brachial plexus discuss the clinicians' own experience, surgical techniques, or outcomes such as range of motion or strength. While these are important topics, the more important question is “what is the functional outcome?” What are the factors that affect outcome?
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