Erb’s Palsy

Erb’s Palsy, Erb-Duchenne Palsy or Brachial Plexus Paralysis, is a condition in which the nerves of an infant are damaged which results in a restricted range of motion of an arm or paralysis. It is named Erb-Duchenne Palsy for the two doctors that first discovered it and wrote about the condition.

The condition can affect one or all five of the primary nerves that supply movement and feeling to the arm. This condition is due mainly to birth trauma. The most common cause is dystocia (an abnormal or difficult childbirth or labour). It can occur if the head and neck are pulled to the side while the shoulders pass through the birth canal. It can also be caused by excessive pulling on the shoulders during a vertex (head first) delivery or by pressure on the raised arms during a breech delivery (feet first).

The paralysis experienced as a part of Erb’s Palsy can be partial or complete. This depends on the damage to each nerve. All of the nerves can be anywhere from bruised to completely torn. This can heal naturally or may require surgical correction. If a baby recovers most of his or her arm usage before his or her first birthday, then he or she will be fine. If the range of motion is minimal even at a year, then the condition is not likely to get better. Arthritis can then set in.

If your baby has been injured during birth and now has Erb’s Palsy, contact the Waukesha personal injury lawyers of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.® at (800) 242-2874 to discuss your case and to schedule an initial consultation.