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Classification and external resources
Specialty neurology
ICD-10 G83.1-G83.3
ICD-9-CM 344.3-344.5, 438.3-438.4
MeSH D006429

In medicine, monoplegia is a paralysis of a single limb, usually an arm. It is frequently associated with cerebral palsy. This is the mildest form of cerebral palsy, and individuals with it generally have a good prognosis for later life. It can also be used if just one muscle group or muscle is affected. It is often thought as hemiplegia with much less involvement of the other limb.


Monoplegia is often a result to damage to the brain or spinal cord that manage motor functions of the affected limb.[1] The hands and feet are often affected causing curling of the hands and stiffness of the feet. Other symptoms include weakness, numbness, paralysis, pain in the affected limb. Other symptoms include headaches and shoulder pain.[2]

Though cerebral palsy is the main cause, other causes include a brain tumor, stroke, nerve trauma, nerve inflammation, multiple sclerosis, Brown Sequard Syndrome, mono neuritis multiplex.[2] Treatments of Monoplegia typically includes physical therapy and counseling to help recovery muscle tone and function. However, there is no cure for Monoplegia.[2] Recovery will vary depending on diagnosis from temporary, partial or complete paralysis.[2]

A similar condition is monoparesis, in which one limb is very weak, but not completely paralyzed. For more information, see paresis.

A person with monoplegia can be referred to as a monoplegic.

Monoplegia of the upper limb is sometimes referred to as brachial monoplegia while that of the lower limb is called crural monoplegia. The two leading causes to monoplegia are brachial plexopathy and stroke. The chance of a brachial plexopathy proceeding after a noncardiac surgery is between 0.02% and 0.06%. Perioperative strokes occur at a higher rate of 0.08% to 9.7%.[3]

Patients of monoplegia usually feel symptoms of weakness and loss of sensation in an extremity, usually an arm. The extremity with paralysis continues to maintain a strong pulse.

One study found that immediate initiation of a heparin infusion may have helped in the recovery of feeling in the extremity.[3]

Monoplegia in the lower extremities is not as common as occurrence as in the arms. This can be caused by brown sequard syndrome and hematomas in the fronto-parietal cortex near the middle that could produce a deficit such as this is a very uncommon occurrence.[4]


  1. ^ Ransansky, Jeff. "Monoplegic Cerebral Palsy - What Is Monoplegia?" Cerebral Palsy Information. 2013. Web. 14 Apr. 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d "Monoplegia." 2015. Web. 14 Apr. 2016.
  3. ^ a b Austin, T., Botta, E., & Sripada, R. (2013). Monoplegia following vascular transposition. Journal of Clinical Anesthesia, 25(2), 162-164.
  4. ^ Lega, B., Bailer, R., Kramer, D., Heuer, G., Chen, J., & Schuster, J. (2010). Isolated lower extremity monoplegia due to a traumatic intraparenchymal contusion. Brain Injury, 24(10), 123-1235.