Many parents in Baton Rouge and other Louisiana cities naturally look forward to welcoming new babies into their families. If they have no reason to worry about congenital conditions, they would likely not even consider the probability of injuries caused during the infant’s birth. Sadly, orthopedic birth injuries are not uncommon, some of them caused by the negligence of the doctor or another member of the medical team.
Although Caesarean deliveries could prevent most of the following injuries, it is a surgical procedure that poses many other risks.
This most frequently reported orthopedic birth injury occurs when the collarbone is fractured. The clavicle is the connection between the shoulder and the chest. Although it is a painful injury, it is not likely to leave a detectable deformity.
Growth plate fracture
The rapid growth areas of long bones like in the arms or legs have growth plates consisting of soft cartilage. They are vulnerable to easy injury, and fractured growth plates might not be detectable on x-rays. Instead, telltale signs of such birth injuries include swelling at either end of a long bone.
This condition involves damage to the brachial plexus, a group of nerves stretching between the neck and the arm. It sits under the collarbone or clavicle and could be damaged when the infant’s head and arm are pulled in different directions during childbirth. The resulting condition, Erb’s Palsy, leaves the infant with weakness in one arm. In some cases, surgery is required within the first six months after birth.
When the infant’s thigh bone or femur is awkwardly twisted during the childbirth process, the femur can be fractured. It typically causes significant pain during diaper changes and specific movements.
Louisiana parents who believe their newborn suffered birth injuries due to medical negligence might have grounds for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. Although it is a complicated legal process, it could lead to the court awarding a monetary judgment to cover financial and emotional damages.