As a Seattle parent whose child has been diagnosed with Erb’s palsy, you likely have a lot of questions. What next? How do you handle this? Before all else, arming yourself with knowledge about Erb’s palsy can help you with every step that follows.
Erb’s palsy is described by MedicineNet as a type of brachial plexus palsy. It can result in the paralysis of the shoulder and upper arm in one or both arms. The severity of the paralysis depends on the nature of the injury. Likewise, healing potential depends on how the injury was received and how severe it is. More severe cases of Erb’s palsy will require surgery or extensive physical therapy to help correct. In some cases, however, the paralysis may be resolved over several months without any external interference.
Nerve damage associated with Erb’s palsy can also have several other side effects. For example, feeling in the damaged limb may be lost or dampened. The muscles in the paralyzed area may experience atrophy over time. Additionally, the arm usually hangs in a very distinct position, which can cause damage. Your child will likely not be able to raise the affected limb. They will have difficulty with flexing their elbow. If the damage is detected quickly enough, nerve transfers are a possible option. Other surgical treatments include Latissimus Dorsi Tendon Transfers, and Sub Scapularis releases.
It should be noted that these options do not guarantee full muscular recovery. However, they are viable options to consider if you’re looking for ways to dampen the effect of Erb’s palsy on your child’s life.