Treatment for Erb’s Palsy

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo & Plotkin LLP

New York mothers should know that Erb’s Palsy, or brachial plexus birth palsy, is a birth injury that causes the arm of a baby to grow weak and leads to loss of motion. Erb’s Palsy often develops after a difficult delivery when the neck of a baby is moved to the side during a tumultuous delivery.

Infants with Erb’s Palsy tend to suffer from a weakened arm during the first two years of their life. A child suffering from this condition not able to move the afflicted arm, but a physical therapist may be able to teach the parents exercises to stimulate the appendage. These therapy exercises should ideally be done when the baby is around three weeks old so that the affected arm does not become too stiff and cause contracture of the joints.

If no improvement is seen in the arm in the first 3 to 6 months, a physician may suggest surgical treatments, such as nerve grafts, where the rupture is repaired with a graft from the child’s other nerve. Another treatment option is a nerve transfer, where the surgeon will use nerves from another one of the patient’s muscles to fix the affected area.

In some cases, this type of injury may be cause by the negligence of the attending physician. If this is the case, that physician may be liable for damages associated with the treatment, such as the cost of physical therapy or surgery. Individuals who have suffered these damages might benefit from contacting an attorney who is familiar with birth injury cases. That attorney may be able to build a case for compensation for that client.

Source: Ortho Info, “Erb’s Palsy (Brachial Plexus Birth Palsy)“, November 19, 2014

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