Congenital brachial palsy in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia

J Child Neurol. 1990 Jan;5(1):35-8. doi: 10.1177/088307389000500108.


The clinical features of 57 patients (31 males, 26 females) with congenital brachial palsy seen at the King Fahd Hospital of the University over a 5-year period are described. Delivery was difficult in 32 (56%), 20 (35%) were large babies (birth weight greater than 3,600 g), and 20 deliveries required either forceps or vacuum extraction. The presentation at delivery was vertex in 45, breech in five, and shoulder in four. Associated injuries or features, encountered in 14 cases, were fractures of the clavicle and humerus (six cases each), and skull fracture and Horner's syndrome in one patient each. The right and left sides were involved in 31 and 24 cases, respectively, and both sides in only two cases. All the muscle groups of the affected limb were most commonly involved (40%), and hand muscles alone were affected in only one patient. Although 60% of the cases presented late to the hospital, functional recovery was observed in 63%. The major predisposing factors identified in this study were technically difficult deliveries, large infants, and breech or shoulder presentation with assisted delivery. It is suggested that early identification of these factors and improvement in obstetric care of both the mothers and babies during delivery would reduce the incidence and severity of this disability.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Birth Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Birth Injuries / physiopathology
  • Brachial Plexus / physiopathology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Paralysis / congenital*
  • Paralysis / epidemiology
  • Paralysis / physiopathology
  • Saudi Arabia