The implications of injury in the developing nervous system on upper extremity function

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Study design:

Literature review.


The corticospinal system (CS) and peripheral nervous system (PNS) are common sites of damage during the early stages of life. The prenatal or immediately prenatal period is the most common time for damage to occur. Here we briefly review the basic features of the development of the CS and the PNS and the clinical consequences of injury to or improper development of these systems on upper extremity (UE) function.


The proper development of both the CS and PNS is necessary to achieve adequate function of the (UE). Injury or improper development of these systems can lead to upper extremity dysfunction and limit participation in activities of daily living.


Both the PNS and CS play major roles in the proper functioning of the UE. A better understanding of their roles and common developmental disorders is needed to move rehabilitation of motor impairments forward.

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