The Neonatal Brachial Plexus Center
Advocare Pediatric Neurology Associates offers diagnosis and treatment for infants born with brachial plexopathy (Erb's palsy) through our Neonatal Brachial Plexus Center. The Center is led by Dr. Trevor DeSouza, a highly experienced child neurologist specializing in muscle and nerve disorders. Treatment is also provided by Cindy Servello, an occupational therapist with expertise in the treatment of brachial plexopathies.
What is Brachial Plexopathy?
Brachial plexopathy, more commonly known as Erb's Palsy, is a paralysis of the arm caused by injury to the brachial plexus, often during the birthing process. The brachial plexus, also called Erb's Point, is a network of nerves located between the shoulder and neck that conducts signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. In some cases, the paralysis may resolve itself over a period of weeks without intervention. Other cases of paralysis may require physical or occupational therapy, or surgery, depending on the type and severity of the damage to the brachial plexus. About 25% of infants experiencing Erb's Palsy do not heal completely within the first eight weeks of life.
As it is difficult to determine at birth which infants with Erb's Palsy will recover on their own, pediatric neurologists strongly recommend that occupational or physical therapy be started immediately upon suspicion of diagnosis. When a brachial plexus injury is suspected, Dr. DeSouza and Ms. Servello will evaluate babies within two to three days to determine and initiate appropriate treatment. Significant injuries that do not recover muscle strength and movement with therapy may be referred for surgery for nerve repair, tendon release, or tendon transfer as needed.
Older children and teens with brachial plexus problems can be also referred to the Neonatal Brachial Center, where they can benefit from our state-of-the-art treatment modalities. Our specialists are experienced in treating children of all ages with Botox injections, electrical stimulation, biofeedback with surface EMG, casting, splinting and other methods that have proven effective. Surgical referrals are made as needed.
To schedule your evaluation, call Advocare Pediatric Neurology Associates: