Mild Erb’s palsy symptoms can disappear on their own. However, more severe symptoms can require rehabilitation and, in some cases, surgery. Surgery helps children regain feeling and range of motion in the injured areas.
There are several types of Erb’s palsy surgeries:
- Neurolysis: freeing a nerve from perineural adhesions
- Neurotization: donor nerve transfer
- Nerve grafting: nerve implantation or transplantation
- Neuroma excision
- Isolated nerve transfers
These surgeries may be performed alone or in combination with each other.
What to Expect from Erb’s Palsy Surgery
A surgeon who specializes in Erb’s palsy surgery will first evaluate your child to determine if surgery can help their particular case. If accepted, your child will need to go through preoperative Erb’s palsy surgery testing.
This testing usually includes an EMG, an upright MRI and any needed lab work. Depending on your child’s age and tolerance level, these non-invasive procedures can be completed in one day.
The next step is having your child fitted for the brace that they will be wearing after surgery to stabilize their shoulder and/or arm. Once surgery is complete, your child will need to wear their brace for about two weeks.
In most cases, surgery can help a child gain feeling and use of his or her arm. It is recognized as a safe and effective treatment for what could otherwise be a debilitating condition.
Unfortunately, surgery can be out of reach for families without insurance or who have insurance with a very high deductible.