When parents learn their child suffered a birth injury, many fear it could be cerebral palsy. However, there is another kind of palsy resulting from improper and overly forceful delivery techniques. When parents understand the connection between birth injuries and Erb’s Palsy, they’re more likely to get proper treatment as soon as possible.
Understanding Erb’s Palsy
Erb’s Palsy, also known as a brachial plexus injury, occurs when a baby’s neck and arms are pulled in opposite directions, usually during childbirth. Such a movement can strain or even tear nerve networks in the baby’s arm. A particularly extreme brachial plexus injury could even result in nerves pulling from the spinal cord.
Symptoms of Erb’s Palsy
Damage to the nervous system causes several lifechanging symptoms, including:
· Reduced feeling or numbness in the arm
· Weak grip in the affected arm
· Loss of coordination or lack of movement
Erb’s Palsy does not affect the child’s muscles. Children with Erb’s Palsy can strengthen their arms with physical therapy and exercise. However, a damaged nerve system cannot properly send signals to the child’s arm. While Erb’s Palsy does not affect the muscle, a lack of treatment can lead to muscle atrophy.
Treating Erb’s Palsy
Eb’s Palsy is a kind of nerve damage, meaning no two cases are alike. Every child with a brachial plexus injury experiences a slightly different kind of nerve damage. For that reason, treatment options and recovery can be unpredictable.
Many children recover full control and range of motion within six months. They grow up never knowing they had a birth injury. Other children may recover full control with the help of physical therapy.
Some are less fortunate. Severe cases of a detached brachial plexus nerve may require surgery on the central nervous system. In the most extreme instances, the child may suffer a permanent loss of movement and feeling in the affected arm.
If your baby suffered a birth injury due to negligent medical care, you might have a case. If you’d like an experienced Atlanta medical malpractice attorney from the Mabrey Firm to evaluate your case, please send us an email or call (404) 814-5098.