As with every newborn, when your son or daughter was born, they were given a series of assessment exams to gauge their overall health and wellbeing. A doctor or nurse will usually give your newborn a thorough physical assessment and evaluation. The signs and symptoms of foot drop palsy might be detectable during the assessment of your newborn’s nervous system.
During the nervous system assessment, your child’s doctor or another caregiver will assess their alertness level and muscle tone along with their ability to freely move their arms and legs equally. Any signs of unequal movement could indicate potential damage to nerves. Your new baby will also be tested for three important types of reflexes. It is usually through these tests that foot drop palsy is detected in newborns.
Three Types of Reflexes Doctors Will Test Your Newborn For
Reflexes are an everyday part of life, so your newborn’s medical team will take time to ensure your baby’s reflexes function as expected. If they find any abnormal reflex activity, they will do further assessments and create a therapeutic treatment plan. Doctors will use various maneuvers and techniques to test the following three types of reflexes in your son or daughter.
- Moro Reflex: According to Stanford Children’s Health, our newborn’s Moro reflex is activated when they are startled. The expected response when your baby is startled is for them to cry and fling their arms wide open with fingers extended. Your baby should also draw their legs up to their body.
- Rooting Reflex: Your newborn’s rooting reflex is activated when either side of their mouth or lip is stroked. The expected reaction is for your son or daughter to turn their head toward the side that was stroked and open their mouths. The rooting reflex is how your baby finds a nipple.
- Sucking Reflex: Your newborn’s sucking reflex is activated when something is placed in their mouths. That can include a breast, bottle, or pacifier. When the object is placed in the baby’s mouth, the expected reaction is for your baby to begin sucking immediately.
These tests of your baby’s reflexes and their responses provide their health care team with valuable information.
How Your Doctor Will Reach a Final Conclusion
If the results of your baby’s newborn assessment lead their health care team to suspect foot drop palsy, they will perform additional exams and tests to reach a conclusive diagnosis. The tests your baby’s health care provider will perform might include an EMG, MRI, X-rays, and nerve ultrasound.
- An EMG, or electromyography test, will assess the electrical activities in your baby’s muscles
- Nerve conduction tests will help doctor see how swiftly electrical signals move through your baby’s nerves and how their nerves react
- An MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging test, will produce detailed images of your child’s organs and tissues using a magnetic field and computer-generated radio waves
- X-rays use electromagnetic waves to create pictures of the inside of your baby’s body
- A nerve ultrasound is a pain-free way for doctors to see real-time pictures of your baby’s nerves using superior spatial resolution
Additional nerve conduction tests will examine how well your baby’s nerves function and respond to stimulation. Your baby’s medical team might also order specialized tests depending on the suspected cause of your baby’s nerve dysfunction. All the tests your newborn will undergo will be explained to you in great detail by their health care team.
Schedule a Consultation With a Birth Injury Lawyer Near Me
When your son or daughter is diagnosed with foot drop palsy, you likely have a thousand questions. A birth injury lawyer knows how foot drop palsy is detected in newborns and can help you find the answers you need and deserve.
When you are ready to assign liability and hold the right person responsible for your child’s foot drop palsy, a birth injury lawyer is your best advocate. Speak to the Birth Injury Lawyers Group by calling (800) 222-9529 today.