Brachial Plexus Injury

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Brachial Plexus Injury

Brachial Plexus Injury and Erbs Palsy Birth Injury Attorneys in DC, MD, and VA

Many injuries, including brachial plexus injuries Washington DC unfortunately sees too often, can cause damage to the nerves, resulting in severe pain or permanent disability, and can require the involvement of a personal injury attorney to gain proper compensation. One example of this type of nerve injury is a birth injury that occurs to the brachial plexus. A brachial plexus injury refers to the damaging of nerves connecting the spine to the shoulder, arm and hand. When those nerves are stretched or torn, communication from the spine to the shoulder, arm and hand can be cut off, resulting in numbness, the inability to use your arm or fingers, lack of movement in the entire arm, paralysis, or extreme pain.

There are four types of brachial plexus injuries that vary in severity:

  • Avulsion: when the nerve is torn from the spine. This is the most severe type of BP.
  • Ruputure: when the nerve is torn in a location other than at the spine.
  • Neuroma: when the nerve has torn and healed, causing scar tissue to put pressure on the injured nerve preventing signals to the muscles in the shoulder, arm, or hand.
  • Neuropraxis: when the nerve is stretched, but not torn. This is the most common type of brachial plexus injury.

A person’s brachial plexus is a network of nerves that sends signals from your spinal cord to your shoulder, arm and hand. If you have a brachial plexus injury, that happens when the nerves are stretched, compressed, or ripped apart (the most severe example) or torn away from your spinal cord.

Brachial plexus injuries range from minor to severe. A minor brachial plexus injury, which is known as a stinger or a burner, can be very common in a contact sport, such as football, basketball, baseball, hockey and soccer. Conditions like inflammation or a tumor may also affect the brachial plexus. 

While brachial plexus injuries can be a result of birth injuries (newborns can sustain brachial plexus injuries) the most severe brachial plexus injuries tend to be from auto, car or motorcycle accidents. 

There are three most common types of brachial plexus injury. One is difficult births. Newborns may get brachial plexus injuries and that is a result of high birth weight, breech presentation or a prolonged labor. It can also occur if a newborn’s shoulders get wedged in the birth canal, and if that happens there is an increased risk of brachial plexus palsy. A condition known as Erb’s palsy may occur, in which the upper nerves are injured. The second most common cause of a brachial plexus injury  is trauma, including motor vehicle accidents, motorcycle accidents, falls or bullet wounds.The third most common cause of a brachial plexus injury is a Tumor and cancer treatment. Tumors can grow in or along the brachial plexus, or put pressure on the brachial plexus or spread to the nerves. Radiation treatments to the chest may cause damage to the brachial plexus.

Severe brachial plexus injuries may result in having an arm or arms paralyzed. A person with a brachial plexus injury may have loss of function and sensation in their arm or arms. There are costly surgical procedures like nerve grafts, nerve transfers or muscle transfers that can help restore all or partial function.

Even if your brachial plexus injury seems minor, you may need to seek medical as soon as possible. If you have recurring burners and stingers, weakness in your hand or your arm, neck pain or you have those symptoms in both arms you should see your doctor. If you live in the Washington DC area and you do have minor or severe brachial plexus injuries, you may want to contact a brachial plexus injury attorney to talk about your case and decide whether or not you are owed compensation.

The risk of sustaining a brachial plexus injury is increased by participating in contact sports, like football or wrestling. Additionally, being involved in high-speed motor-vehicle accidents increases your risk of brachial plexus injury.

Luckily, if you allow your body time, both children and adults can heal from most brachial plexus injuries. However, some brachial plexus injuries can cause temporary or permanent problems.

Stiff joints, pain, numbness, muscle atrophy, permanent disability can all be caused by a brachial plexus injury.

A way to prevent long term or permanent problems is that If you temporarily lose the use of your hand or arm, daily range-of-motion exercises and physical therapy can help prevent joint stiffness. It is important to avoid getting cut or burnt because if you are feeling numb you may not be able to tell you are cut or burnt. If you are an athlete who has experienced injuries to the brachial plexus area, your doctor might recommend that you wear special padding to protect yourself while playing that sport again.  suggest you wear specific padding to protect the area during sports. If you have a child with a brachial plexus injury, you should continue to work your child’s muscles so they are strong and healthy.

If you are someone you love has a brachial plexus injury due to a birth injury or car accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Speak with an expert brachial plexus attorney to learn about what you may be entitled to.

One of the most common causes of brachial plexus injuries is complications during the birthing process. During some births, the baby gets stuck in the birthing canal and extra force is needed to free the baby. If the force is improperly applied to baby’s shoulder, a brachial plexus injury can occur. In many cases, the brachial plexus injury can be prevented if the doctor or health care provider is willing to conduct an emergency caesarian section. Brachial plexus injury can also be prevented if the health care provider has been properly trained in how to safely dislodge the baby from the birth canal. If your child received a brachial plexus injury during birth and you believe it could have been avoided you should contact our areas favorite Washington DC injury lawyers right away to investigate whether or not the doctor took all necessary precautions in the delivery in room and that the doctor was properly trained.

Although brachial plexus injury has a high rate of recovery, actions need to be taken immediately after the injury is sustained to make sure no permanent damage is caused. These actions can range from physical therapy to surgery, both of which can be costly. Some brachial plexus injuries can cause longer lasting problems, including stiff joints, chronic pain, numbness, degenerate muscles and permanent weakness or paralysis.

Seeking compensation for a brachial plexus injury can be extremely difficult. There is very little awareness of this injury and the treatments that are required to correct it and many families struggle to obtain coverage from insurance companies for treatment. If your child received a brachial plexus injury during birth and you’re looking to seek compensation to cover the costs, and you live in Washington, DC, Maryland or Northern Virginia, contact the attorneys at Cohen & Cohen for a consultation. Our team is experienced and dedicated in helping those that are injured through no fault of their own to gain the compensation they need and deserve.

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