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Erb's Palsy Archives

Erb's Palsy - Not Just a Child's Problem

Erb's Palsy is an injury to the nerves of the brachial plexus that control the movements of the hand, arm and shoulder. This injury is typically caused by improper pulling on a baby's head during delivery resulting in stretching and sometimes tearing of this nerve bundle. However, Erb's Palsy can also occur to adults who undergo surgical procedures and end up with an inability to raise their arm or use their hand. Injury during surgery can occur when the patient's arm is improperly positioned on the operating table and pressure or stretch is put on the nerve. The brachial plexus can also be injured directly when surgery is performed on the neck and the nerve is cut or severed by scalpel or the use of the electrocautery. Injury can occur if surgeons or nurses inadvertently lean against the patient's arm for a prolonged period of time causing pressure ischemia to the nerves.

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