Upon birth, my older daughter Bailey suffered a brachial plexus injury, a nerve injury which left her left arm useless. We were very fortunate to find out from a member of our former church in North Carolina that one of the premier occupational therapists in this field had relocated to NC just six months prior to Bailey's birth. After two major operations at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston and almost three years of daily rehabilitation, Bailey has approximately 70% usage of her left arm, which has been remarkable, given the extent of her birth injury.
During this period, we have met or heard about many people who have children with the same type of injury. Many of the children (approximately 80%) recover within three days of birth, as the nerve tissue was only slightly stretched. However, for the kids that require surgery, the injury level can range from scar tissue restricting one or more nerve to avulsion (nerves torn from the spinal cord). One thing that we have learned is that many doctors know very little about treatment regarding this type of injury. While our pediatricians weren't fully schooled in this type of injury, they took great interest in our daughter's injury, learning along with us (you can't ask more from a pediatrician). We know of many children who pass by the optimal window for surgical treatment due to having a doctor who is ill-informed about brachial plexus injuries, or who just suggests a very long wait to see what happens.
The following links are provided to help you learn more about brachial plexus injuries, as well as providing lists of medical resources and support groups for this type of injury. I hope that you find them helpful and informative.
The Brachial Plexus Palsy Foundation
Brachial Plexus/Erb's Palsy Information
The Erbs Palsy Information & Resource Group
Brachial Plexus/Erb's Palsy National BPI Forum