OBPP or Erb’s palsy is an injury to one or more nerves of the Brachial Plexus which provokes a paralysis of the arm at birth. It occurs during a difficult birth and often affects larger babies. After the delivery of the baby’s head, the baby’s shoulder may become stuck in the mother’s pelvis and the obstetrician needs to deliver quickly to prevent brain damage. For that, a variety of manoeuvres may be used and may result in damage to the nerves of the arm.
The recovery is difficult to predict and depends on the structure which are damaged and the severity of the nerve stretching. Most nerve re-growth and muscle function will occur during the 1st year. Approximately, 10% of children require some surgery.
How can I help your baby?
I will assess your baby’s active arm movement and the range in his/hers arm joints.
I will use stretching and mobilisation of every part of his/ her arm to prevent muscular retraction and stiffness of joints. I will make a night time splint to keep the arm in a good position.
I will teach you arm exercises and give you advice.
If the arm function is not progressing adequately by 8 weeks, I may suggest a referral to a specialist for a new assessment.