If your child has Erb’s Palsy, you may be wondering how it happened and what the prognosis is for your child. You are not alone and many parents are often confused and torn apart when they learn that their child may be suffering with a disabling condition. Erb’s Palsy happens when an injury occurs during birth that leaves the child injured. The problem happens during delivery and a child who is pulled on or tugged on too much may suffer from a stretched out neck. This stretching of the neck leads to problems with the child’s development.
When Erb’s Palsy occurs, it is essential that the child receive a diagnosis and treatment immediately to prevent any further problems. If the condition is caught in time, a child may not have any problems with their development.
Signs of Erb’s Palsy in Infants
When an infant is born, he or she will begin to show signs right away if the condition exists or if an injury occurred. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Arms bent inward towards the body
- Problems moving the shoulder or arms
- No reflexes or weak reflexes
- Pain or numbness
- Problems gripping objects
Causes of Erb’s Palsy
Erb’s Palsy is directly related to injury and trauma to the nerves in an infant’s shoulders. Erb’s Palsy causes are related to birth injuries and most of the time, when the baby is in the birthing canal and being born.
During a birth where the baby’s head is in the correct position, the doctor may need to tug or pull on the baby to assist in the birth. When the head becomes stuck or the pulling is too intense, the neck becomes stretched out.
In a breeched delivery, if a baby is born feet first, a doctor is able to pull on the baby’s legs or feet, which prevents the unnatural pulling of the neck muscles by the doctor. When the arms rise awkwardly above the baby’s head in the birth canal, it can cause dislocation or breaking of the shoulders.
Lastly, another cause of Erb’s Palsy is when a doctor pulls on the child’s arms. This tugging and pulling motion causes the baby’s arms stress that is not normal and the ligaments and tendons around the shoulders can become weakened or torn.
Treatment for Erb’s Palsy
Erb’s Palsy will usually not require any treatment, but in some cases the condition requires help to prevent problems later on down the road. Children who experience the condition are in a lot of pain, but it is important to note that the condition is never permanent.
Recovery should not take long, but depending on the severity of the case, the child may need a few months to heal properly. If the child begins to show signs of problems, physical therapy treatments can be used to help the child regain strength in their arms.
Of course, there are always possibilities that the child may have some developmental problems, especially if the condition is not caught or it is not diagnosed correctly. You should always speak with your physician and the child’s pediatrician about what can be done for your child.
Hire an Attorney
When needed, you should speak with an attorney about this birth injury and find out if you have a case. If the doctor acted negligently in the delivery of your child, you may be able to recover compensation to cover your medical bills. Speaking with your local attorney can help you decide whether you should pursue a personal injury case or not.