Erb’s palsy is a condition linked to nerve injury during childbirth. When the upper nerves of the neck are injured during birth, it gives rise to this terrible condition.
Erb’s palsy is typically caused when the baby’s head and neck are stretched and pulled to the side, during a delivery. When the nerves are stretched, the resulting injuries can cause weakness in the nerves which are responsible for allowing the baby to move arms, and shoulder muscles. An injury to these nerves will reduce feeling or movement in the shoulders, arms and hands. A child who has Erb’s palsy may be unable to move the shoulders, reach his arm up above his head, and perform other activities that should be easy as he grows older.
The doctor or pediatrician will conduct tests in order to determine whether your child has suffered Erb’s palsy. These tests could include x-rays, and even nerve tests. The pediatrician will check the baby’s response to the Moro reflex test, which is an involuntary response to any kind of stimulation. If all of these studies and tests determine that an injury has taken place, the doctor will monitor your child over a period of the next few months or even years, to determine if the nerves that have been injured have begun to recover. Remember, that most children who have suffered Erb’s palsy will recover on their own, although the recovery may take as long as two years.