Erb’s palsy also referred to as Erb-Duchenne palsy means a disorder characterised by paralysis of the arm caused by an injury to the upper brachial plexus. The upper brachial plexus supplies nerve roots C5 and C6, meaning that all muscles supplied by this section of the brachial plexus will be impaired. The injury is generally caused by a difficult vaginal delivery which causes traction upon the new borns shoulder during delivery of the head in a breech position. This leads to injury of the cervical roots as mentioned above, may cause a fracture of the humerus or clavicle and can sublex the shoulder. The incidence for Erb’s is slowly diminishing as a result of many mothers choosing to deliver through caesarean sections. Clinical Features include of brachial plexus injury:

a) Impairment of external rotation, elbow flexion, wrist extension b) Elbow extension and pronation of the forearm c) Shoulder adducted and internally rotated d) Grasp reflex present e) Moro reflex absent f) “Waiters tip” presentation

Differential diagnosis in of brachial plexus injury include: Clavicle fractures, infection to the upper humerus, septic arthritis of the shoulder and injury to the proximal humeral epiphysis. Management of Erb’s palsy can be in the form of hydrotherapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, surgery and it may even resolve spontaneously by 18 months and regain full function. Cold laser therapy has also proven to be highly effective in treating Erb’s palsy and regenerating the injured nerves. The prognosis of the condition is generally very good with 90% of the cases resolving completely and sensory loss generally recovers much quicker than motor loss. Cold laser therapy, also known as low-level laser therapy is a recently new medical intervention that utilises advanced laser technology to delve down into the deep underlying tissues. Cold laser therapy helps in the treatment of Erb’s Palsy by providing blood and oxygen to the brachial plexus and help reduce the inflammation present. By reducing the inflammation around the affected nerve roots, this helps to free up the entrapped nerves and help regenerate them so they can function as well as they previously did before the injury occurred. The treatment lasts about 20 minutes and the laser is placed over the affected area for 5 minutes at a time and moved around the different locations on the brachial plexus.   Erb’s Palsy is a very common condition in new borns who are delivered via the breech position and cold laser therapy has proven to be very effective against the condition. At Lakeside Laser we have multiple lasers in our clinic to help recover your baby’s condition in the fastest time possible. Lakeside laser is locally centrally in Perth’s northern suburb Joondalup and has visitors from all over Perth including Ocean Reef, Tapping, Padbury, Hillarys, Edgewater, Wanneroo, Kinross, Connolly, Iluka, Currambine, Greenwood, Yanchep, Carramar, Gnangara, Woodvale, Mullaloo, Kingsley and Banksia Grove. The friendly, professional Doctors at Lakeside Laser can discuss the benefits of Laser care for your child’s Erb Palsy. Feel free to contact us on 9300 0095 or visit our website to book an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you shortly.
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