Medical Dictionary

Erb's palsy

noun \ˈerbz-, ˈerps-\

Medical Definition of ERB'S PALSY

:  paralysis affecting the muscles of the upper arm and shoulder that is caused by an injury during birth to the upper part of the brachial plexus

Biographical Note for ERB'S PALSY

Erb, Wilhelm Heinrich (1840–1921), German neurologist. Erb earned a reputation as an outstanding clinical neurologist and was responsible for major contributions to the understanding of neuromuscular disorders. He enjoyed a long association with the University of Heidelberg, rising to the status of professor and director of its medical clinic. His contributions included a hypothesis for the etiology of tabes dorsalis, descriptions of myotonia congenita and a juvenile form of progressive muscular atrophy, and pioneering research in electrodiagnostic studies and electrotherapy. His monographs included Diseases of the Peripheral and Cerebrospinal Nerves and Handbook of Diseases of the Spinal Cord and Medulla. He published his description of what is now known as Erb's palsy in 1874.


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