Therapy options for brachial plexus injuries

Expectant parents in the Pittsburgh area are usually filled with excitement for the upcoming arrival to their family. Most babies are born as expected and are healthy and ready to go home in a few days. But occasionally an unexpected birth injury occurs that causes a serious injury to the newborn.

A brachial plexus injury is an injury that can happen to a newborn. There are many different causes for a brachial plexus injury including birth trauma. A brachial plexus injury occurs when the nerves that connect the spine to the shoulders, arm and hand are damaged. Many times a brachial plexus injury occurs during birth when the baby’s shoulders get caught in the birth canal. A doctor may cause an injury to the baby when they try and deliver the baby.

There are therapy options for babies who have brachial plexus injuries including Erb’s palsy. Physical therapy is often the first option that parents choose to help their newborn. Exercises are taught to the parents and they should be done daily. But if improvement in the baby is not seen within a few months surgery may become necessary. Even after surgery children often need years of therapy to help them regain complete physical movement. This can be expensive and time consuming for parents.

If a family believes their child was harmed with a brachial plexus injury because of a negligent medical provider they may want to speak with a legal professional skilled in medical malpractice. An attorney can review the medical records and consult with medical experts to determine what caused the injury to the newborn. They can hold the doctor responsible for their negligence. Compensation may be available for medical expenses, future medical expenses, and other damages.

Source:, “Some pediatric conditions can be helped with physical therapy”, Shawn Krause-Roberts, June 4, 2015