Erb’s palsy is an injury that affects a baby’ brachial plexus nerves in the shoulder area.
Birth injuries during delivery can sometimes lead to a number of complications. Erb’s palsy is an injury that affects a baby’ brachial plexus nerves in the shoulder area, causing weakness or paralysis of the arm and shoulder of the affected side. In this post, our Chicago birth injury attorneys will discuss this condition in detail.
Understanding Erb’s Palsy
While the condition itself is not permanent, it can take a long time (about eight months) to heal and treatment could include surgery and days of therapy for the infant. Prognosis of Erb’s palsy depends upon the following factors –
- Location of the injury
- Severity of the injury
- Time taken for detection and treatment
Erb’s palsy usually does not have any residual effects, and about 90 to 100 percent recovery with treatment is seen in mild cases. At times, the affected arm may grow shorter than the unaffected one, and there may be lingering weakness in the affected arm, or difficulty in circular movements of the shoulder and elbow joints.
If left untreated, Erb’s Palsy can render the infant’s arm completely paralysed or permanently weakened. Injuries to the brachial plexus nerves can be painful thereby causing a lot of discomfort to the baby.
Treating Erb’s Palsy
In some cases, Erb’s Palsy clears without little or no treatment. However, in severe cases, treatment is essential, and the type of treatment required depends on the severity of the condition. If the nerves are stretched or stressed, the doctor will usually recommend physical therapy like strength exercises, sensory stimulation, and range of motion exercises as a treatment for restoring the function of the arm. Hydrotherapy and occupational therapy are other therapies that are recommended for mild cases of Erb’s Palsy.
However, severe cases of Erb’s palsy, where split or torn nerves are observed, surgery is essential. Surgery is also recommended for cases where therapy does not progress well and the desired outcomes are not seen. Surgery usually includes nerve grafts or nerve decompression.
Infants suffering from Erb’s palsy, especially those involving split or torn nerves, should receive immediate treatment to avoid permanent damage. Children with permanent damage due to untreated Erb’s palsy often have permanent paralysis or permanent weakness in the arm.
Seeking Legal Help for an Illinois Birth Injury
A brachial plexus injury or Erb’s palsy is caused due to damage during the process of labor and delivery. These conditions can cause a lot of pain to the baby, and treatment can be a difficult experience for the already stressed parents. Additionally, these treatments and therapies become an added financial burden on parents.
At times, negligence on part of the healthcare providers, lack of attention to childbirth related complications and difficulties that the laboring mother faces can cause Erb’s palsy.
Erb’s palsy is preventable. If your baby has been diagnosed with Erb’s Palsy, an experienced birth injury lawyer can help you uncover what caused the injury, help you determine the best course of action, prepare correct documentation, and collate necessary medical papers for filling a lawsuit in cases where negligence has caused the injury.Call Willens Law Offices today at (312) 957-4166 for a free consultation if your child has been a victim of medical malpractice.