The most common cause of a brachial plexus injury is when a birthing emergency called Shoulder Dystocia takes place. This generally occurs when a doctor assists with the birth by using too much force on the infant’s neck and head, resulting in pulling the nerves out of the brachial plexus.
This injury to the brachial plexus results in muscle damage to the upper extremities, usually resulting in motor weakness of shoulder rotation. There are both internal and external rotation deformities of the joint that have occurred due to the childbirth injury.
Treatments for Childbirth Brachial Plexus Injuries
Some children can benefit from physical therapy. Keeping a child’s joints mobile can prevent stiffness of the shoulder and help allow the damaged nerves to heal properly. However, nerves in children who are badly injured typically cannot heal on their own and often require surgery to repair the weak shoulder.
Because of advancements in surgery over the last several years, restoration of balance between external and internal rotation forces around the shoulder have greatly benefited children who suffered from this childbirth injury. Although arthroscopic surgery is often performed on the child, it has proven to be effective for many children with this type of injury.
Surgery to reconstruct the brachial plexus is generally performed by nine months of age, and additional surgeries to repair damaged nerves can be done up to age one. Treatments may be different depending upon the severity of the Northern Kentucky birth injury and can include:
- Nerve transfer
- Nerve graft repair
- Tendon transfer
If your child suffered a brachial plexus injury in Northern Kentucky, please call the law office of Schachter, Hendy & Johnson to find out more about your rights to recovery. Our caring Northern Kentucky birth injury attorneys believe your family deserves to be compensated fairly for the resulting damages and can be contacted at (859) 578-4444 or (888) 606-5297 for a free legal consultation.