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Did Your Newborn Suffer Cerebral
Palsy or Another Brain Injury Before
or During Labor and Delivery?

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Our Birth Brain Injury Resource Guide

the guide

Get a FREE guide of resources available throughout Ohio to children and families of children who were born with brain injuries.

Our guide can help you build a foundation of knowledge and tools that will help you help your child
now and in the future.

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Damage to the nerves in the brachial plexus leads to a wide variety medical conditions that range from minor pain to permanent disability. Several factors can cause the muscle nerve injury, with shoulder dystocia leading the list. When an infant’s shoulder or shoulders lodge in the mother’s pelvic area, the pressure placed on the arm and shoulder muscle can stretch or rip the nerves from the muscle. Other causes include contact sports, falls from high perches, serious car and motorcycle accidents, and frequent prolonged exposure to radiation.

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How to Detect Nerve Damage in the Arm and Shoulder

Elk & Elk

The symptoms of this condition differ because of the severity and proximity of the injury. Some symptoms barely appear and for just a short period because the injury is minor. More substantial nerve damage produces clear evidence of the signs and symptoms of the medical ailment.

Minor Injuries

Minor injuries to the network of nerves that run from the spine through the arm and into the shoulder occur because of contact sports, such as hockey and football. The nerves stretch and/or compress to create a physical condition called a stinger. You hear football announcers talk about stinger injuries after two players collide violently on the field. Minor arm and shoulder nerve injuries produce a burning or shocking feeling that shoots down the arm. You also might feel numbness in the affected arm and/or hand. The symptoms typically last a couple of minutes, but some athletes feel strong stingers for several days.

Serious Injuries

Critical care arm and shoulder muscle nerve damage occurs after car and motorcycle accidents, as well as falls from high perches, such as from the top of a ladder or a scaffold on the side of a building. In the serious cases, the nerves rip away from the spinal cord to cause excruciating pain. Initially, patients with critical care nerve damage feel a tingling in the arm and shoulder that quickly morphs into acute pain. You might lose the capability of moving the arm, hand, elbow, and/or shoulder. Eventually, victims of critical care arm and shoulder nerve damage cannot move any part of the affected limb.

You are the First Line of Defense

Brachial plexus palsy caused by factors other than birth delivery problems place the victims at the first line of defense. Even if you believe an injury to an arm and/or shoulder produces a minor injury, the minor injury can quickly transform into lifelong disability. You need to visit with a health care professional who treats this condition, if you suffer frequent stingers working on home improvement projects or playing rugby. Weakness in the hand and arm requires immediate medical attention, regardless of what causes the weakness.

Complete paralysis demands an immediate visit to the nearest hospital emergency room for prompt intervention. Moreover, remain alert for recurring neck pain, any of the symptoms developing in both arms simultaneously, and signs of brachial plexus palsy that develop in the lower and upper sections of the same arm.

Any delay in the treatment of brachial plexus palsy dramatically changes the outcome of the arm and shoulder muscle nerve injury. Even if you receive prompt treatment, make sure to schedule periodic appointments with your physician to monitor the status of the potentially debilitating damage to arm and shoulder muscle nerves.