What is Erb’s Palsy and is it Curable?
A birth injury is not something most parents expect or are prepared to deal with. In some cases, a baby is lucky enough to achieve a full recovery from their birth injury. However, not everyone is so fortunate. Erb’s palsy, for example, is a condition that often results in permanent damage to the infant. Even with surgical intervention, it is not always possible to correct the damage caused by this injury. If your baby’s Erb’s palsy was caused by medical negligence, do not hesitate to obtain experienced legal representation.
About Erb’s Palsy
This condition occurs when an infant’s brachial plexus is injured during the birthing process. The brachial plexus is essentially a system of nerves located within the upper arm and shoulder. Depending on the severity of the injury, Erb’s palsy can cause weakness or paralysis of the arm that is affected. If the injury is relatively minor, it is possible for it to resolve on its own or for it to only warrant minimal treatment. In severe cases, this condition can result in permanent weakness or paralysis of the affected side.
Treating Erb’s Palsy
There are several treatment options for Erb’s palsy or other similar injuries that affect the brachial plexus. Generally, treatment is based on the severity of the injury.
Below are some of the most common treatment methods for children who suffer from Erb’s palsy:
- Doctors often recommend physical therapy to heal and restore function to a child’s arm when a brachial plexus injury results in stretched nerves. Physical therapy can include strengthening exercises, range of motion exercises, and sensory stimulation. To ensure this method is effective, it is crucial for the child to do these exercises at home with the assistance of family members.
- In cases where the condition is mild or moderate, treatment might involve hydrotherapy or occupational therapy.
- If your child’s brachial plexus injury is severe and the nerves are badly damaged, surgical intervention will be necessary. This method is also used when other methods are not producing the expected results.
The Long-Term Effects
If the brachial plexus nerves are not too damaged and treatment is successful, your child might not experience any long-term effects. Some children might grow up with the affected arm being smaller or shorter than the other. Additionally, other effects your child might continue to experience include:
- Weakness in the affected arm
- Trouble with circular motions when moving the elbow or shoulder
- Discomfort or pain
- Poor fine-motor skills
- Limited range of motion in the affected joints
- Hyposensitivity or hypersensitivity
If Erb’s palsy is left untreated, the child could potentially suffer from permanent weakness or total paralysis in the affected arm.
Compassionate Birth Injury Lawyers in Tulsa
If your child sustained a brachial plexus injury, such as Erb’s palsy, during delivery, you need to obtain the skilled legal guidance of a birth injury attorney. At Richardson Richardson Boudreaux, PLLC in Tulsa, our birth injury attorneys have the knowledge and insight to effectively represent your case and hold the responsible party liable for your child’s injury.