Brachial Plexus News
Brachial Plexus Palsy Actually Helped Teen With Hockey Career
Brachial Plexus Palsy is a condition closely related to Erb’s Palsy. The same complex of nerves are damaged and causes problems in the use of the arms. But people with determination are able to overcome many of the challenges of this disorder.
Metro West Daily News reported on a man, Cole Thomas, who wanted to play hockey despite having four of the five brachial plexus nerves in his right arm severed. According to his mother, neck stretching during birth caused the damage.
Thanks to surgical procedures, including nerve grafts, muscle transfers, and tendon transfers, he was able to fulfill his dream. The surgeries helped him regain some mobility, but they did not restore full function.
That’s why, in order to play, he learned to become ambidextrous. Having to wear a cast on his right arm for most of his childhood forced him to use his left arm for everything. These skills helped him later as a hockey goalie for his high school hockey team.
In fact, his damaged right arm is a help for him for blocking shots. “The right arm was my paralyzed arm and it also happens to be my blocker arm so it kind of just rests in the natural position, so it makes it a lot easier for me,” Cole said. “There isn’t anything that I can’t do with my blocker that I would need to while in net so it definitely helps a lot with the range of motion.”
Brachial Plexus Lawyer Near Me 1-800-222-9529
Winning a medical malpractice case is difficult without the help of expert witnesses. Doctors undergo years of training and most have years of practice under their belt. For a court to believe that a doctor made an error, they often need the testimony of another doctor to bolster the plaintiff’s case. However, like with any trial, this doesn’t always work as this case from Law Times shows.
The suit was filed when a newborn was permanently injured at birth due to brachial plexus injuries. She lost the full use and development of her left arm. The parents sued the doctors saying they used too much pressure to pull the baby out.
This is a common cause for brachial plexus injuries, especially if the shoulder gets stuck inside the mother. The question for the court is whether or not the doctors performed at the “standard of care” necessary to avoid liability.
The expert witness said that doctors and obstetricians have a tendency to pull too hard on a baby’s head when their shoulders get stuck and that causes brachial plexus injuries. He also questioned several other procedures done, like placing pressure on the mother’s stomach to squeeze the baby out.
However, after hearing other evidence, the court believed that the standards of care were met and that excessive force wasn’t applied. The judge opined that there may have been miscommunication on when the mother should and shouldn’t push and that this may have caused the injury, though the lawyer for the defense said that this was “unusual”.
Science Daily has reported on a study that may be a possible treatment for muscle contractures in childhood paralysis. This could be a big book for people with brachial plexus injuries, Erb’s palsy, or cerebral palsy.
The study was performed by the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center on mice. Researchers are able to mimic the symptoms of cerebral palsy and brachial plexus palsy in mice, both of which can cause childhood paralysis.
A drug called bortezomib was studied and it found to help rebalance muscle growth and prevented contractures after four weeks. Future studies are needed to see if the same effect works in humans, but it is a promising start.
Muscle contractures are a significant problem with these conditions. The muscles stiffen up so hard that they limit limb function. If this happens over time while the child grows, it causes problems with skeletal growth. The affected children are often in pain and need extensive medical intervention to deal with the issue.
Bortezomib is normally used in chemotherapy, but it is also known to inhibit protein breakdown. When muscles stay in a contracted position it causes the body to shorten the muscle. The drug prevents this from happening. However, the drug is also toxic. Researchers had to add a second drug to control the toxicity after some mice died early in the study.
We hope that future studies find a way to use this or a similar drug with fewer side effects to help children control their contractures. It would be a big step forward toward improving the quality of life of children with these conditions.