Gentle massage of the arm and range-of-motion exercises are recommended for mild cases. More severe cases may need to be evaluated by several specialists.
If some strength has not returned to the affected muscles by the time the baby is 3 – 6 months old, treatments may include:
- Surgery on the nerves
- Tendon transfers to help the muscles that are affected by nerve damage work better
A full recovery is expected in most cases. Most infants recover within 6 months, but those that do not recover have a very poor outlook.
The benefit of surgery to try to repair the nerves or compensate for the nerve deficit is not clear.
In cases of pseudoparalysis, the child will begin to use the affected arm as the fracture heals. Fractures in infants usually heal very quickly and eaisly.
- Abnormal muscle contractions (contractures) or tightening of the muscles, which may be permanent
- Permanent, partial, or total loss of function of the affected nerves, causing paralysis of the arm or arm weakness.
Calling Your Health Care Provider
Call your health care provider if your newborn shows a lack of movement of either arm.
Review Date : 12/11/2009
Reviewed By : Kimberly G. Lee, MD, MSc, IBCLC, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC. Review Provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc..