It can be can difficult for a parent to determine if an infant has a loss of feeling in a muscular group. After all, you can’t babies if they experiencing numbness or loss of feeling. So how do you know? There are a number of signs to look for, such weak or absent reflexes, or even paralysis. It’s important to have your baby properly diagnosed, as absent reflexes, paralysis, and loss of feeling are almost always indicative of an underlying medical issue, many of which may cause permanent damage, especially if not detected and treated as soon as possible.
Since Erb’s palsy, a brachial plexus injury, involves nerve damage between the shoulder, neck, and collarbone area, even mild forms of the injury involve loss of feeling or paralysis in the affected area.
In most instances, Erb’s palsy will clear up on it’s own within a few months. Physical and occupational therapy may be recommended, and in severe cases, surgery may be required.
For more detailed information, refer to our article Erb’s Palsy.
Klumpke’s palsy is another type of brachial plexus injury, marked by damage to the lower portion of the brachial plexus nerves, which generally occurs due to a traumatic birth injury.
Children suffering from Klumpke’s palsy often have an arm turned in toward the body and may from absent movement or reflexes in the wrist flexors.
If Klumpke’s palsy doesn’t heal on its own, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and/or surgery may be required.
For additional information, refer to our article Klumpke’s Palsy.
Spinal Cord Damage
Whether your child has spina bifida, an injury from blunt force trauma to the spinal cord, or meningitis, spinal cord damage is marked by the loss of feeling in certain muscles, absent or weak reflexes in arms or legs, or paralysis.
The spinal cord is the highway in which messages are communicated from the brain to the muscular groups. If any damage has occurred, the messages may fail to signal the body.
For additional information, refer to our article Infant Spinal Cord Damage.
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a neurological disorder that’s generally marked by spastic, uncontrollable muscle movements. However, children with spastic diplegic CP often exhibit a period of limpness and hypotonia, followed by spastic movements in the lower limbs. Quadriplegic CP is marked by total loss of reflexes, affecting every limb in the body.
Additional details can be found in our article Types of Cerebral Palsy.