Birth Injuries: Erb's Palsy - Treatments
Treatments for Erb's Palsy fall into two categories; non-surgical and surgical.
Non-Surgical Treatment: Non surgical treatment relies on a range of physiotherapy and motion type exercises which begin when the baby is about three weeks old. The baby's parents will help with the exercises which need to be performed frequently throughout each day. It is very important that the exercises are performed regularly as they help maintain a good range of motion in the baby's shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand and will prevent a condition called joint contracture happening. Joint contracture causes the joint becomes permanently stiff so is a serious side effect of not exercising the child's arm. Parents are shown how to do the exercises with the child and will continue to do them until they are told at a future review that they are no longer necessary.
Surgical Treatment: If, after three to six months your doctor can see no obvious improvements, then surgery may be considered as a means of helping repair some of the affected nerves. However, surgery cannot restore full normal function to a birth injury such as Erb's palsy; even after surgery it can take many months or years for the repaired nerves to reach the lower arm and hand muscles. Children with brachial plexus injuries often continue to suffer from shoulder, arm and hand weakness although sometimes further surgery can help improve things later in life.
Your doctor will discuss with you your individual case and the possibilities open to you as well as offering some suggestions about how to help your child cope with any social difficulties they may encounter as a result of their disability later in life.
Related Erb's Palsy Articles
Further Information about Erb's Palsy
Information about Erb's Palsy/ Brachial plexus is available from EPG
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