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What are the different forms of Erb's palsy?

People in Bernalillo who are expecting a child do not want to think about the possibility that something bad will happen that might cause a birth injury. When something bad does happen, it can lead to significant medical expenses and long-term problems for the baby that can last throughout their life. One problem that could arise is known as Erb's palsy. When this occurs, it means that the baby might not have the ability to move their shoulder but will be able to move the fingers.

There are four types of nerve injuries that can affect a baby. All include a loss of feeling and either complete or partial paralysis. The severity will determine how it is treated and how well the baby can recover. Neurapraxia shocks the nerve, but does not tear it. In general, these will heal if left alone and will do so within three months. Neuroma is a stretch injury. Some of the nerve fibers will be damaged and there may be scar tissue. The scar tissue can lead to a pressing on the healthy nerve. Often, recovery can be complete.

A rupture is a tear and will not heal on its own. An avulsion occurs when the nerve is torn from the spinal cord. The rupture and the avulsion are the most dangerous levels of injuries to the nerves. A rupture could be repaired if there is a nerve graft from a donor. The avulsion cannot be repaired. Some movement might be able to be restored if a nerve from a donor is used. These issues can happen if a delivery is difficult with a large baby, a breech baby or a labor that goes on for an extended period. If the doctor needs to deliver the baby rapidly and uses force, this can cause injury.

Parents who have a child who has suffered an injury and Erb's palsy need to be cognizant of the litany of issues they and the baby will be confronted with. If a doctor fails to recognize fetal distress or does not take steps to avoid injury to the baby, it can be the foundation for a legal filing for compensation with help from a qualified attorney.

Source: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, "Erb's Palsy (Brachial Plexus Birth Palsy)," accessed on Dec. 28, 2015

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