Child's Nervous System

, Volume 34, Issue 6, pp 1153–1160 | Cite as

Timing of rehabilitation in children with obstetric upper trunk brachial plexus palsy

  • Volkan Yilmaz
  • Ebru Umay
  • Nihal Tezel
  • Ibrahim Gundogdu
Original Paper



The initiation timing of rehabilitation in children with obstetric brachial plexus palsy is controversial. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the effectiveness of rehabilitation timing to the functional outcomes of patients with obstetric upper trunk brachial plexus palsy.

Material and methods

Twenty-nine patients, who did not previously received any rehabilitation programme but attended our outpatient clinic, were included for the study. The electrophysiological findings, obstetric characteristics, and demographic features of the patients were recorded. The range of motion (ROM) of shoulders, elbows, and wrists and the strength of the muscles associated with these joints were evaluated. Modified Mallet Scale (MMS) was used for functional evaluation. A 4-week rehabilitation programme was performed twice at 2-month intervals. Patients were divided into three groups according to their ages as follows: 1–3 years old (group 1), 3–5 years old (group 2), and 5–7 years old (group 3). The ROMs, muscle strengths, and MMS scores of the patients were all evaluated.


Two out of 29 patients were female (6.9%) and 27 were male (93.1%). All 29 patients had right upper extremity palsy (100%). The MMS scores, ROMs, and muscle strength of the upper extremities had improved in all the groups following the standardized rehabilitation programme.


A rehabilitation programme is the best choice of treatment before surgical procedures in patients with mild to moderate obstetric upper trunk brachial plexus palsy regardless of age and the initiation time.


Brachial plexus Upper extremity Rehabilitation 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

There is no disclosure or conflict of interest for this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ankara Diskapi Yildirim Beyazit Training and Research HospitalPhysical Rehabilitation Medicine ClinicAnkaraTurkey

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