Klumpke’s Paralysis





Klumpke’s paralysis, also known as Dejerine-Klumpke palsy, is a form of partial paralysis concerning the muscles of the forearm. This is due to an injury in the lower trunk of the brachial plexus, which often occurs during the time of delivery or childbirth. However, the lesion in the brachial plexus may also be a result of a tumor, an infection, or some other kind of trauma.

This condition has been considered rare, as it has a very low incidence rate compared to that of Erb’s palsy. As of present time, there are fewer than 200,000 total cases of Klumpke’s paralysis in the United States.



Klumpke’s paralysis, just like Erb’s palsy, is a neurologic disorder that affects the arms; the only difference is that Erb’s palsy covers the nerves of the upper trunk of the brachial plexus, while Klumpke’s paralysis involves the nerves of the lower trunk of the said network of nerves (from C8 (cervical vertebra 8) to T1 (thoracic vertebra 1). In Klumpke’s paralysis, the paralysis occurs in the hand and wrist.

These conditions, both Klumpke’s paralysis and Erb’s palsy, are the result of an injury or damage to the brachial plexus nerve group. Brachial plexus injuries are oftentimes due to difficulties arising in childbirth such as having a baby in breech presentation, or one with shoulder dystocia (for those large babies). These situations or difficulties are further aggravated by medical practitioners who employ faulty delivery techniques or exert too much force upon an infant’s shoulders and neck during childbirth. In the attempt to get the child extricated from the confines of the mother’s pubic bone, the brachial plexus gets stretched or torn, causing the damage on the nerves of the brachial plexus.


Signs and Symptoms

Klumpke’s paralysis may present similar symptoms to that of Erb’s palsy, but the weakness and/or paralysis is focused mainly on the lower arm, especially in the wrist and fingers. Sensation on the affected part is usually lost, numbness usually occurs up to the inner arm, and the hand may take on a claw-like appearance.

In addition, this disorder may also cause the eyelid on the opposing side of the affected hand to become slack and droopy, and is sometimes accompanied with pupil dilation. This symptom is usually referred to as Horner syndrome.



There is no treatment available for Klumpke’s paralysis as of the moment. Symptoms presented by this condition are often managed with the use of physical or occupational therapy, depending on the need of the affected child. In particularly serious cases, such as those with grave nerve damage, surgery may be performed to correct the damaged nerves. Majority of the infants who are affected by Klumpke’s paralysis, however, are able to recover naturally a few months after their delivery.


Disability Tax Credits for Klumpke’s Paralysis

A child with Klumpke’s paralysis will have limited used of his/her hand, unless the paralysis is averted early on. If your child has been diagnosed with this condition, he/she may enjoy the benefits of having a lifetime disability savings plan courtesy of the Canadian Revenue Agency. With a disability certificate signed by an authorized medical professional, your child could possibly make the most out of having a maximum of $90,000 in government bonds and grants.

Need to know more about the disability tax credits for this particular disease? Give HandyTax a call and set an appointment with one of our agents. We will be honored to be of service to