“Nerve damage” encompasses a wide variety of injuries. Ask your doctor these questions to get the information you need to care for your child.
1. What nerves are damaged?
Brachial plexus injuries are the most common, but other nerve injuries also happen. Is your child’s cranial nerve damaged? What about the spinal cord? Ask your doctor about the nature and location of the injury.
2. How severe is the damage?
A mild injury such as a neuropraxia will heal on its own, but severe injuries may require surgery or may be permanent. Ask your doctor about the severity of the injury and whether any treatment will be necessary.
3. What should I be looking for?
Nerve injuries may heal by themselves, but it can be tough to tell which injuries will heal and which won’t. Ask your doctor what signs you should be watching for that may indicate that your child’s nerves are not healing properly. Your doctor can also warn you about potential secondary issues that can affect your child. Schedule a followup appointment so your doctor can check your little one’s progress.
4. Will my child have a permanent disability?
Nerve damage can affect your child’s face, arms, legs, and more. Ask your doctor about what you should expect in the long run.
5. Does my child need physical or occupational therapy?
Some nerve injuries may benefit from therapy to strengthen the surrounding muscles. Children with permanent injuries may need occupational therapy to develop strategies for accomplishing daily tasks with limited mobility or limited use of an arm.
6. How did this happen?
Some causes of nerve injury may be genetic, meaning they could affect any future pregnancies. Some nerve injuries are caused by medical negligence. If your child’s injury was caused by negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses and more.