Erb’s palsy is not necessarily a permanent condition. In fact, most babies who receive a prompt diagnosis and early treatment grow up to have no lasting effects from the condition. Rarely, infants with severe injuries to the brachial plexus do have lasting injuries and impairments.
Erb’s palsy is an injury to the upper nerves in the brachial plexus. This injury usually occurs during birth. In general, babies with Erb’s palsy cannot move their shoulder but do have movement in their hand and fingers.
Erb’s Palsy Can Have Lasting Effects But Does Not Always Cause Disability
Fortunately, almost all babies who receive a birth injury and suffer from Erb’s palsy as a neonate recover within a few months. Occasionally, surgery is necessary to repair the nerve, but most children who require surgery also recover completely. It is rare—but possible—that a child has a lasting disability from a birth injury that causes Erb’s palsy.
Erb’s palsy results from injury to nerve roots at vertebrae C5 and C6. These are the nerves that lead to the shoulder and upper arm. An infant with Erb’s palsy will have weakness, difficulty with motion, and problems with feeling in the affected arm.
Erb’s Palsy Symptoms Often Improve With the Right Treatment
Erb’s palsy is a type of brachial plexus injury. Most injuries of this type will heal on their own, although the best outcomes require close monitoring and physical therapy to maintain flexibility and build muscle.
If your child has Erb’s palsy, your doctor will likely want to see the baby frequently to keep tabs on the healing nerves and the baby’s recovery. Nerves grow slowly, so you should expect to have to do daily physical therapy, the most common treatment prescribed, with your child for six months to two years.
In rare cases, surgery may be necessary if there is a complete separation of the nerve from the spinal cord. Your doctor may discuss this with you if your baby shows no improvement after several months of physical therapy. Even babies who require surgery often fully recover from Erb’s palsy before their second birthday.
Erb’s Palsy Lawsuits
Many birth injuries that cause Erb’s palsy occur because of a doctor’s negligent or improper actions during the baby’s delivery. If you believe your child suffers from Erb’s palsy symptoms because of a medical error, you may have a valid medical malpractice claim against the doctor or hospital.
Reach out to the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today by calling 1-800-222-9529. The Birth Injury Lawyers Group can connect you with an Erb’s palsy birth injury attorney in your state for a free case review. Call now to get started in pursuing a birth injury lawsuit.