Several other parents said they were unaware about the treatment available for this condition. Moreover, they could not find specialised care.

When 3-month-old Vaishnavi was born, she could not move her left upper limb and shoulder. Her nerves connecting the neck to the upper limb, called brachial plexus, had got stretched and injured during labour. This left the limb completely paralysed.

Doctors at the Manipal Hospital conducted a five-hour microsurgery using a microscope three weeks ago to treat the rare condition called Brachial plexus birth palsy. They reconstructed the nerves by taking some from the leg to fill the gap in the neck region, where the nerves were injured.

In a similar case, Diya, who was born weighing 3.59 kg (heavy for a newborn) in the 10th month of pregnancy, suffered damage to three nerves in the same region when her mother went into labour, causing paralysis of her right hand.

“She was not able to move. The doctors asked us to try physiotherapy for three months, which did not work. We then got her operated at this hospital when she was eight months old, and she improved significantly. When she was two-and-a-half years old, she underwent a second surgery to enable rotation of the hand and wrist. This, along with physiotherapy after surgery, improved her condition by 80 percent. Now when she grows up, she will have a normal hand,” Vivek, Diya’s father, said, at a media interaction with families of children who underwent this surgery.

“We were are all upset in the first eight months before the surgery took place and her hand was paralysed. Now she can play, make use of her hand and we feel happy looking at her. She is even starting pre-school this year,” Babera, Diya’s mother, added.

Several other parents said they were unaware about the treatment available for this condition. Moreover, they could not find specialised care. This resulted in treatment getting delayed by as much as one-and-a-half years.

“The recovery can be seen in six months post-surgery, during which time physiotherapy is also done. It is not an overnight process and improvement happens until two to three years of age. One in 1,000 live births result in this condition during labour, where nerves can get stretched or injured,” Dr Bharat Kadadi, consultant and specialist, hand, wrist and microvascular surgeon at Manipal Hospital, Malleshwaram, said.

“There is lack of awareness among people about the condition. Some of the symptoms that can be immediately spotted after birth are no movement of the upper arm or hand, decreased hand grip/movements on the affected side and bent arms at the elbow region,” Kadadi added.

Article Source: https://www.newindianexpress.com/good-news/2019/jun/07/doctors-reconstruct-three-month-old-babys-nerves-cure-limb-paralysis-1987187.html

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