Birth Injuries: Erb's Palsy (Brachial Plexus Palsy)
Erb's palsy, a form of Brachial Plexus Palsy, is caused by a birth injury which leads to weakness in one of the sufferer's arms. It happens when the brachial plexus, a network of nerves near the neck leading to all the nerves of the arm, is damaged by stretching during childbirth. The nerves which are damaged are those responsible for movement and sensation in the arm, hand and fingers of the affected arm.
Most babies who suffer from Erb's Palsy will recover fully but treatment programmes must be strictly adhered to to ensure this happens.
The brachial plexus is a part of the neck which contains a multitude of nerves, each of which contains lots of nerve fibres which are protected by layers of a special tissue which effectively insulates them. It forms as the nerves to the arm, hand, and fingers pass from the spinal cord between the bones of the neck and into the arm. At the side of the neck the nerves merge forming an area (plexus) of nerves which travel below the collarbone from where they then spread into the arm. Shoulder nerves are higher up in the neck than those which lead to the hand and fingers. Just above the chest lie the nerves responsible for providing feeling to the hand and fingers.
Depending on where the damage occurs, Erb's palsy will affect different people in different ways.
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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