Clinical Anatomy

Erb's Palsy( Erb-Duchenne Paralysis) : Causes, Deformity, & Treatment

Erb’s Palsy( Erb-Duchenne Paralysis) : Causes, Deformity, & Treatment


  • Erb’s palsy or Erb–Duchenne palsy is a paralysis of the arm caused by injury to the upper trunk of the brachial plexus (Erb’s point).
  • Site of injury : The region of the upper trunk of the brachial plexus is called Erb’s point. Six nerves meet here. Injury to the upper trunk causes Erb’s paralysis.
  • Nerve roots involved : Mainly C5 and partly C6.
  • Muscles paralysed : Mainly biceps, deltoid, brachialis and brachioradialis. Partly supraspinatus, infraspinatus and supinator.


Causes of injury : Undue separation of the head from the shoulder, which is commonly encountered in : (i) birth injury, (ii) fall on the shoulder, and (iii) during anaesthesia.


Deformity (position of the limb) : The deformity is known as ‘policeman’s tip hand’ or ‘porter’s tip hand’.

  • Arm : Hangs by the side; it is adducted and medially rotated.
  • Forearm: Extended and pronated.

Disability : The following movements are lost.

  • Abduction and lateral rotation of the arm (shoulder).
  • Flexion and supination of the forearm.
  • Biceps and supinator jerks are lost.
  • Sensations are lost over a small area over the lower part of the deltoid.


The three most common treatments for Erb’s Palsy are : Nerve transfers (usually from the opposite arm or limb), Sub Scapularis releases and Latissimus Dorsi Tendon Transfers.

Doctoralerts is dedicated to empower every person with the knowledge of medical health by providing precise, credible & valuable health information to better manage their own health status & thereby, improvement in health status of community.


Copyright © 2020 All Rights Reserved | DoctorAlerts does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

To Top