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Keywords:

  • children;
  • brachial plexus palsy;
  • shoulder;
  • strength;
  • imbalance

ABSTRACT

Introduction: We characterized bilateral shoulder strength and the balance of antagonist/agonist muscle pairs in children with brachial plexus palsy (BPP) and with typical development (TD). Methods: In 15 children with unilateral BPP and 11 with TD, bilateral maximal isometric shoulder strength in flexion/extension, internal/external rotation, and abduction/adduction was recorded using a hand-held dynamometer. Correlation between strength and active range of motion were evaluated using the Mallet score. Results: Children with BPP had strength asymmetry in all muscles, whereas children with TD had significant strength asymmetry for flexors and abductors. In children with BPP, extensors and external rotators were the weakest muscles, leading to sagittal and transverse plane muscle imbalances. Higher strength values were related to better active range of motion. Conclusions: This study highlights the importance of documenting shoulder strength profiles in children with BPP which may help predict deformity development. Muscle Nerve 50: 60–66, 2014