When a child enters the world, it is not always a smooth and easy process. There are many risks to the overall health of both the mother and the child. One type of injury that is particularly dangerous for babies is a brachial plexus injury. The injury occurs when the nerves that send signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand are stretched, compressed, ripped apart, or torn away from the spinal cord. Unfortunately, the effects of the injury can snowball into debilitating complications for the child.
5 Permanent Problems That May Result From a Brachial Plexus Birth Injury
What are some of the possible complications following a brachial plexus injury? The following are five examples:
- Stiff joints. If a person experiences paralysis of the hand or arm, the joints can stiffen, which then makes movement difficult. This can occur even if patients regain the use of their limb. Most people experiencing stiff joints as a result of brachial plexus will require ongoing physical therapy during recovery.
- Pain. Unfortunately, pain is a complication of a brachial plexus injury that results from nerve damage and may be chronic.
- Loss of feeling. Babies and other individuals who suffer brachial plexus injuries may experience loss of feeling. Unfortunately, this also means that they could run the risk of burning themselves or suffering some other type of injury without even realizing it.
- Muscle atrophy. After a brachial plexus injury, slow-growing nerves can take several years to heal and may cause muscles to degenerate. This means that the muscles are beginning to break down due to lack of use.
- Permanent disability. Some babies suffering a brachial plexus injury will sadly experience permanent disability. These babies may be paralyzed or may have lifelong weakness in the hand, shoulder, and arm. The ability to recover from this injury type depends on its type, location, and severity.
If your child suffered a brachial plexus injury during childbirth, you may be entitled to compensation.