Klumpke’s Palsy

Other Known Aliases none

Definitionparalysis of the upper extremity from a lower trunk injury classically effecting C8-T1.

Clinical Significance this brachial plexopathy can be infants as a result of birth trauma from pulling on an extending arm or in older children/adults from hanging from an outstretched arm. The classic manifestations are paralysis of the intrinsic hand muscles, fixed and flexed wrist and finger flexors, and sensory numbness of the C8/T1 dermatome leading to the textbook “claw hand” deformity.

HistoryNamed after Augusta Déjerine-Klumpke (1859-1927), an American-born French physician who received her medical doctorate from the University of Paris in 1889 after becoming the first woman to be appointed interne des hôpitaux. She would immediately make a reputation for herself by being able to speak three languages and took an interest in neuroanatomy and physiology. She would meet fellow physician and future husband, Jules Dejerine, during her studies in medical school and the two would study and publish extensively together in the realm of neurology including the classic two-volume textbook on the anatomy of the nerve centers entitled “Anatomie des Centres Nerveux”. She would describe her eponymous condition in her 1885 case review of 18 patients taken from the available medical literature and would win her the Godard prize in 1886.


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