Erb’s Palsy, also known as Brachial Plexus Paralysis or Erb-Duchenne paralysis, is an injury to the upper group of nerves that control movement in the shoulder and arm. It affects around one out of every thousand infants, but can happen at any age. Commonly caused by shoulder dystocia at birth, Erb’s Palsy can also be caused by nerve damage during a prolonged labor or delivery.
The most common symptoms of Erb’s palsy include:
1. Inability to move the arm and shoulder on the affected side
2. Weakness in the arm and shoulder muscles on the affected side
3. Lack of sensation in the hand and arm on the affected side
4. Paralysis of the facial muscles on the same side as the injury
5. Reduced grip strength in the affected hand
Things to Look for:
Additional symptoms may include changes to muscle tone, a withered or limp appearance to the arm, and deformities in the shoulder, arm, or hand. Most cases of Erb’s Palsy resolve within three months with physical therapy and other treatments. In more serious cases however, permanent nerve damage can occur leading to lifelong paralysis.
The damage Erb’s palsy can cause to an individual’s physical and psychological well-being is serious, so be sure to look for any of the above symptoms in your child or loved one. If you suspect they may have Erb’s Palsy, contact a medical professional immediately. With treatment, most cases can be ameliorated or prevented altogether. Early diagnosis and treatment is key to preventing permanent nerve damage and improving the quality of life for your loved one.
If you suspect your child is suffering from Erb’s palsy, it is important to consult a physician immediately for diagnosis and treatment. Early recognition of symptoms and prompt medical attention is key to achieve the best possible outcome.
With proper care, most children can recover from Erb’s Palsy and lead healthy and active lives.