Brachial Plexus Injuries

In New York and New Jersey

Brachial Plexus Injury, also known as Brachial Plexus Palsy, Erb’s Palsy, Duchenne’s Palsy, and Klumpke’s Palsy, is a result of a birth complication called Shoulder Dystocia.

Shoulder Dystocia describes a situation where the fetal head has been delivered, but the shoulders are stuck behind the mother’s pelvic bone and cannot be freed. This often results in injury by either blocking the baby’s ability to breathe resulting in neurological damage, causing skeletal injury that may fracture the baby’s clavicle or humerus, or causing brachial plexus injuries. These injuries damage the bundle (plexus) of nerves that control the shoulder, arm, wrist and hand muscles.

The brachial plexus nerves emerge from the spinal cord and travel across the shoulder, along the arms, into the hand, to the tips of the fingers. There are four types of Brachial Plexus Injuries. They are:

  • Stretch/Neuropraxia/Praxis Injury – This describes a condition where the brachial plexus nerves have been damaged but not torn. It involves a degree of swelling, bruising, compression, or over-stretching. The seriousness of this type of damage can vary widely. Depending on severity, the injury may recover naturally over time.
  • Neuroma – This condition results from scar tissue around the injury that prevents the nerve from communicating properly with the muscle, thus impairing movement. Surgery is usually required to remove the scar tissue.
  • Rupture – Indicates a more serious condition where the nerves are torn in one or more places, but are not detached from the spinal column. Damage is usually permanent and does not spontaneously heal. Surgery is required for repair.
  • Avulsion – This is the most serious of brachial plexus injuries, where the nerve is actually torn from the spine. The arm is usually completely flaccid and paralyzed. Often more than just the arm is affected. Avulsion injuries have permanently damaging consequences that last a lifetime.

Brachial Plexus Injuries

Because the symptoms of each type of injury can appear to be similar, it can be difficult to determine the exact nature of the injury from the outset. Also, more than one of these conditions can exist simultaneously.

If your child was injured during the birthing process, please feel free to call or e-mail the Brachial Plexus lawyers and Erb’s Palsy attorneys at Trief & Olk  located n New York and New Jersey. We may be able to help you get the compensation and justice you and your baby deserve. Proudly serving New York and New Jersey.

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