Long-Term Effects of Erb’s Palsy

We always see new parents preparing endlessly over the birth of their child, from reading parenting books to taking Lamaze classes. But nothing can ever prepare a parent to find out that their precious bundle of joy was born with a birth defect. Even worse is knowing that this injury could have been avoided in the first place. 

Erb’s palsy is a common birth injury affecting one in every 1,000 babies born. This condition is usually caused during the delivery process, when the obstetrician overstretched the infant’s head to one side, damaging the nerves in the brachial plexus. The network of nerves that form the brachial plexus is responsible for facilitating movement and feeling in the shoulder muscles. Without proper function of the brachial plexus, the baby’s functionality of his or her arm, shoulder, or neck is debilitated.  

Physical Health

Some lucky parents will find that their child’s palsy self-heals over a period of time. Other parents may find that treatment options, such as physical therapy or surgery, are their only option in giving their baby a normal life. In either case, couples should seek out legal services for a medical malpractice case for the cerebral palsy or Erb’s palsy affecting their child as a result of physician negligence. Even though this injury is treatable, some individuals affected by it can feel its effects for the rest of their lives. 

Erb’s palsy can cause any of these four types of nerve injury: 

Neuropraxia: This is the mildest form of nerve injury where the nerve is stretched, but not torn. Those who have neuropraxia often feel a burning or stinging sensation, but have full mobility of their limbs. 

Neuroma: A neuroma, also referred to as a “pinched nerve,” is caused by a growth of cells that form a scar at the location of the nerve injury. The scar will disturb the surrounding, healthy nerve cells and cause pain or a tingling sensation. 

Axonotmesis: A condition where the nerve is partially damaged but attempts to self-heal, is referred to as axonotmesis. Although this injury can be treated, it may have lasting effects. 

Rupture: A rupture is a nerve that is torn all the way through and requires medical intervention to repair. Ruptures can cause extreme pain, muscle weakness, or a numbing sensation. 

Avulsions: The most serious type of nerve damage is an avulsion, where the nerve is torn from the spinal cord. Although the nerve cannot be reattached to the spinal cord, some individuals may restore partial nerve function with intense treatment. 

Emotional and Mental Health

Physical injuries are not the only aftereffects children will have to deal with as a result of living with Erb’s palsy. They often develop psychological and self-esteem issues because they feel different from other children or get bullied for their disability. They carry the effects of their emotional and mental health with them for the rest of their lives. 


Do not let the negligence of a healthcare technician affect your child for the rest of his or her life. Seek justice today by hiring the best lawyers in Baltimore for your brain damage case, Erb’s palsy case, or any other medical malpractice suit. Gershon, Willoughby, & Getz, LLC is happy and proud to serve the families who have been wronged by trained medical professionals. Contact us now to discuss your case!

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