There are minor and more severe signs that you can look out for to determine whether or not your newborn has a peripheral nerve injury. These signs can either be mild side effects or severe physical limitations.
During labor, the baby’s nerves may have been compressed or stretched. However, the after-effects from this situation don’t last long. The most common brachial plexus injury in newborns is neuropraxia, an injury type rooted in overexertion.
Neuropraxia symptoms range from having a sudden burning sensation that travels down the nerves of the arm (called stingers) to sudden weakness within the arm. Also, you may notice that your newborn has trouble gripping things tightly or simply cannot move the arm. Babies with a peripheral nerve injury will hold the affected limb by their side with the elbow straight while the hand and forearm are tucked in. In many cases, recovery from this injury is short-term, a few days, weeks or months.
More serious brachial plexus injuries lead to complete arm weakness as well as loss of sensation. The affected part could be paralyzed as a result. The most severe brachial plexus injury, an avulsion, takes place when the nerve root is torn from the spinal cord. If a child suffers from this or another serious brachial plexus injury, your child will experience intense pain or have muscle contractions. Your newborn may also contract Horner’s syndrome, where his or her eyelid droops and the pupil becomes constricted. If you notice these signs, you need to see a medical specialist right away to establish a definite diagnosis and an immediate treatment plan.
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