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Treatment Options For Erb's Palsy


Treatment Options For Erb's Palsy By Joseph Devine

 

 

Erb's Palsy is a type of paralysis occurring in the upper arm due to nerve damage. The damage done to these nerves almost always takes place during childbirth-typically, during births that are abnormal or notably difficult. Excessive strain on the neck and head of the baby, or pulling on the baby during childbirth is the most common causes of this paralysis. The extent of nerve damage can vary greatly from child to child, and so can the treatment options. In some cases, the damage is minimal enough that it can heal on its own, and in other cases, a child will require physical therapy or surgery.


 Erb's Palsy is a type of paralysis occurring in the upper arm due to nerve damage. The damage done to these nerves almost always takes place during childbirth-typically, during births that are abnormal or notably difficult. Excessive strain on the neck and head of the baby, or pulling on the baby during childbirth is the most common causes of this paralysis. The extent of nerve damage can vary greatly from child to child, and so can the treatment options. In some cases, the damage is minimal enough that it can heal on its own, and in other cases, a child will require physical therapy or surgery.

In children who are not able to regain range of motion on their own or through physical therapy sessions, the most common treatment options are:

· Nerve transfers

· Sub Scapularis releases

· Latissimus Dorsi Tendon Transfers

Nerve Transfers

In a nerve transfer operation, nerves are taken from the leg of the child opposite the affected arm. Typically, this procedure is only performed on children who are under 9 months old. The ability for children's bodies to heal themselves after a procedure is greatest in this age range, and while there can be success rates for children older than 9 months, in many cases the harm brought upon the child through this procedure is greater than the benefits they receive.

Sub Scapularis releases

Sub Scapularis releases are not limited by the age of the child. In this procedure, a 'z' shape is cut into the Sub Scapularis muscle of the affected arm, releasing the tension built up in that area and increasing range of motion for the child. This procedure can be performed repeatedly, as often as needed by the child, but multiple procedures do run the risk of causing permanent damage to the muscle.

Latissimus Dorsi Tendon transfers

In a Latissimus Dorsi tendon transfer, the Latissimus Dorsi is cut in half, so that part of the muscle can be pulled out and stretched to wrap around the bicep of the individual. While this can often be a very effective way of restoring motion to the arm, it can cause added sensitivity to the bicep, as the Latissimus Dorsi has more nerve endings than other muscles in the body.

While these procedures are often times successful in restoring movement to the affected arm, there are side effects to be aware of. In some cases, patients who previously had full sensory perception will experience loss of sensory perception following a procedure.

 

Article Provided by Birth Injury Lawyers

 

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