Treatment and recovery of Erb’s palsy

baby and mother holding hands

The extent to which a child recovers from Erb’s Palsy depends on just how badly damaged their nerves are. Nerves that have suffered serious damage, but remain connected, can recover over time.

Treatment

The extent to which a child recovers from Erb’s Palsy depends on just how badly damaged their nerves are. Nerves that have suffered serious damage, but remain connected, can recover over time – assisted by Erb’s Palsy treatment or surgery. That being said, scar tissue can develop at the site of injury, which could further impede the delivery of electrical signals between the muscle and the brain, and therefore impair muscle movement.

Where a nerve connection has been severed entirely (known as an avulsion), recovery is not possible and paralysis occurs in the muscle(s) it supplies.

When a child is suspected to be suffering from Erb’s Palsy, their arm movement will be monitored over a period of time by a physiotherapist.

If reduced movement capacity and range are observed, you should subsequently be briefed by medical staff on how to handle your baby, as well as provided literature on various arm exercises aimed at strengthening their arm. It is vital that you do not initiate exercises until instructed sufficiently by a physiotherapist.

In cases where your child’s physiotherapist feels that adequate progress has not been achieved after an examination period, they may refer you to a specialist centre for consultation on surgery.

Roughly one in ten sufferers of Erb’s Palsy stand to benefit from interventional surgery to aid the affected nerves’ recovery. Even when surgery is considered to be a success, some weakness is likely to remain in the affected arm.

Recovery

In cases where a full recovery is eventually made, a claim for Erb’s Palsy compensation may still be possible where medical negligence has occurred. This can provide compensation for pain and suffering endured by the child, as well as potentially any lost earnings suffered by parents that have had to provide care or attend hospital appointments.

Babies who do make a full recovery will subsequently be discharged by their medical professionals. Those who do not may be assigned an occupational therapist and remain under the supervision of a physiotherapist.

Early diagnosis of Erb’s Palsy is critical – the earlier that appropriate treatment (exercises) can begin, the more successful the recovery is likely to be.

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The Most Serious Erb’s palsy Cases

Although rare, in the most serious cases of Erb’s Palsy, the child may suffer partial or total paralysis in their arm – which they will have to live with for the rest of their life.

As your child grows into adulthood, they may face additional psychological and financial difficulties as a result of their condition. An experienced medical negligence solicitor will be aware of these associated conditions and will include consideration of these future factors within your Erb’s Palsy compensation claim.

This ensures you and your child receive the maximum amount of compensation to assist you with your future lives.