Brachial Plexus Injury

Brachial Plexus Injury 

What is a Brachial Plexus Injury?

The brachial plexus refers to a network of nerves that run from the spine and through the neck to the shoulders, arms, and hands. An infant can suffer a brachial plexus injury (BPI), also known as Erb’s Palsy, during birth. This BPI is the result of excessive or improper force by the doctor during the delivery, which causes bruising and tearing to the brachial plexus nerves.

brachial plexus injury

What Causes a Brachial Plexus Injury?

When a shoulder is caught by one of the pubic bones during delivery, the doctor may use excessive force in delivering the baby. That excessive force can cause tearing or stretching of the brachial plexus nerves. Risk factors may include:

  • The baby has a large weight and size.
  • The mother has diabetes.
  • The mother is obese.

What are the Effects of a Brachial Plexus Injury?

When the brachial plexus nerves are ruptured, torn, or stretched, the effects will range in severity:

  • partial or full paralysis of the arm and/or hand
  • loss of sensory or motor function in the arm and/or hand
  • arm and/or hand weakness or numbness
  • bending of the affected arm towards the body

What Are the Treatment Options for Brachial Plexus Injury or Erb’s Palsy?

A pediatrician can diagnose BPI based on a physical examination of the arm. Following the diagnosis, treatment options are presented. The main treatment for the condition is daily physical therapy. A doctor or physical therapist will show the proper range-of-motion exercises for parents to do with their baby to maintain muscle motion and prevent joints from stiffening.

If there’s been no improvement after three to six months, the doctor may recommend surgery as the next course of action. As one surgical option, a nerve graft may be done to repair the rupture by splicing another one of the child’s nerves. Or, a nerve transfer is done by taking a nerve from a different muscle and using it as a donor to restore function to the arm. Sadly, neither procedure will restore full and normal function.

Thurswell Law Has the Experience You Need

Thurswell Law has been assisting families and children with Erb’s palsy as a result of a birth injury since 1968. We won’t charge a fee unless we recover money for your child. Call us today at 248-354-2222 for a free consultation.

(248) 354-2222

1000 Town Center, Suite 500
Southfield, MI 48075

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