Six fluoroquinolone antibiotics have received a heightened warning about their causing a serious risk for permanent nerve injury in patients by the U.S. Federal Food and Drug Administration. Cipro (Ciprofloxacin), Avelox (Moxifloxacin), Levaquin (Levofloxacin), Factive (Gemifloxacin), Noroxin (Norfloxacin) and Floxin (Ofloxacin) are commonly prescribed antibiotics, with 23 million patients receiving these fluoroquinone antibiotics in 2011 alone. The risk of permanent peripheral nerve injury has been shown to be caused by the injectable and oral routes of administration, but has not been seen with the topical drop preparations used for infections in the eyes and ears.
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.