Surgical treatment of birth-related brachial plexus injuries: a historical review


This historical review presents the relevant data about the evolution of the surgical treatment of neonatal brachial plexus palsy. Starting with the first clinical description by Smellie in 1754, we will present the initial enthusiasm for the surgery followed by a lack of interest that lasted many years, the resurgence of interest in operative management in the 1970s, and the consolidation in the 1980s of surgery as the standard indication in cases of neonatal brachial plexus palsy without a functional spontaneous recovery.

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We would like to thank Dr. Lynda Yang of the University of Michigan, for her assistance in searching for some of the historical data used in preparing this paper.

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Correspondence to Mario G. Siqueira.

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Siqueira, M.G., Heise, C.O. & Martins, R.S. Surgical treatment of birth-related brachial plexus injuries: a historical review. Childs Nerv Syst (2020).

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  • Neonatal brachial plexus palsy
  • Surgical treatment
  • History