Definition of Erb palsy

Erb palsy: A form of brachial plexus palsy in which there is paralysis of the muscles of the upper arm and shoulder girdle due to an injury to the roots of fifth and sixth cervical roots or the upper part of the brachial plexus, a network of spinal nerves that originates in the back of the neck, extends through the axilla (armpit), and gives rise to nerves to the upper limb. The brachial plexus is formed by the union of portions of the fifth through eighth cervical nerves and the first thoracic nerve, all of which come from the spinal cord. In Erb palsy, the arm is internally rotated and hangs limply at the side.

Erb palsy is also known as Duchenne-Erb palsy, Duchenne-Erb paralysis, Erb paralysis, and Erb's palsy.


Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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