There is no one single cure for Erb’s palsy. The likelihood of recovery depends on the severity of the underlying injury. Proper medical and therapeutic care may remedy the effects of the injury or lessen the long-term impact. Unfortunately, the effects may be permanent in the most severe cases of nerve damage.
Common Erb’s Palsy Treatment Options
A doctor should recognize Erb’s palsy in a newborn or infant easily. The baby will be unable to move or have limited movement of the affected arm due to the nerve injury. This limits a baby’s range of motion and may result in paralysis.
Intervention should commence as soon as the injury is detected. This may include daily physical therapy performed by a medical professional and/or the parents. The parents may receive training on how to perform basic muscle and joint movements at home to aid recovery.
Surgery may be required if nonsurgical treatments – such as physical therapy and the passage of time – do not resolve the injury within a few months. This may be necessary if the injury is more severe, such as in the case of seriously damaged or severed nerves. As with any type of medical procedure, there exists a degree of uncertainty as to the end result.
Surgery is most effective at restoring and improving some function to the affected arm, but it may not restore a full range of motion or strength adequately. Post-surgical physical and occupational therapy may be required.
Every patient is different. A child’s path to recovery will be dependent upon his or her health and the extent of the nerve injury. The injured child has the best shot at full or partial recovery when provided with consistent and skilled medical care.
How to Pay for Erb’s Palsy Treatment
Parents may face additional stress and anxiety over how to pay for a child’s medical treatment. In some cases, health insurance may address medical needs and other out-of-pocket expenses. For many families, insurance alone is not sufficient to pay the bills.
Parents may be able to file a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit if a doctor’s or hospital’s negligence led to injury. Parents can use that compensation to pay for the treatment necessary to help a child recover.
The nature of Erb’s palsy in some cases indicates some type of medical error during labor or delivery. Medical malpractice cases require substantial evidentiary support and research. An attorney can conduct the necessary investigation to determine if medical negligence played a part in the child’s birth injury.
Available damages in a successful claim may include:
- hospital and medical bills;
- a parent’s lost wages;
- therapeutic care; and
- pain and suffering.
Other compensation may be available, depending on the details of the case.