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Shoulder release surgery could help Erb’s palsy patients

| Aug 29, 2019 | birth injuries

All Texas parents want their baby to be born healthy. Unfortunately, there are several injuries that an infant can suffer during the birthing process. One of those injuries is brachial plexus birth palsy, which is also known as Erb’s palsy.

Erb’s palsy occurs when certain nerves in a baby’s neck are damaged as he or she passes through the birth canal, causing weakness or paralysis in the shoulder, arm and hand. Some children eventually recover from the injury, but others are left with a permanent arm disability. However, according to a new study, a surgical treatment called isolated open anterior shoulder release can improve arm function in some Erb’s palsy patients.

For the study, researchers reviewed preoperative MRI and postoperative CT scans for 40 patients who underwent open anterior shoulder release surgeries. The patients were all between the ages of 12 months old and 12 years old. They found that the patients experienced improved external rotation and abduction movements in their shoulders following treatment. The patients also demonstrated modified radiographic parameters and Mallet scores. However, the internal rotation of their shoulders was not evaluated. The study adds to a large body of research on surgical interventions for Erb’s palsy patients. Previous studies have also found that surgical shoulder release treatments can improve shoulder function for patients suffering from brachial plexus birth palsy.

Erb’s palsy is often caused by doctor negligence during the birth process. In such cases, it might be advisable for parents to file a medical malpractice lawsuit seeking compensation for their child’s birth injuries. If the lawsuit is successful, the parents could receive compensation for current and future medical bills, current and future rehabilitation expenses, pain and suffering and other related damages. Parents could learn more about their legal options by contacting an attorney who has experience with these types of matters.