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What is the treatment for Erb's palsy?

Q: My cousin, 6 years old, is suffering from congenital Erb's palsy due to birth trauma. The movement of shoulder arm, fore arm is recovered. The hand movement is not yet perfect. What is the medical therapy or surgical treatment, if any, for this?

A:At this age, the hand function needs to be assessed in terms of the effectiveness of 'pinch' and 'grip'. The focus will be to improve these functions either through a focussed occupational therapy and splint age, or through surgical means if appropriate, followed by a proper rehabilitation. Unfortunately, the damaged nerves at the plexus are irreparable.

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