Introduction: Chiropractic clinics serving the neonatal population need to be prepared for patients presenting with traumatic birth-related injuries. There are a multitude of potential injuries a neonate can present with. This case study highlights two such injuries: obstetric brachial plexus palsy (OBPP) and facial nerve palsy (Bell’s palsy).
Case presentation: This report details an incomplete obstetric palsy of the brachial plexus and facial nerve in a 2-week-old male child presenting to a chiropractic clinic in Victoria, Australia. Other symptoms included plagiocephaly.
Intervention and outcomes: Conservative management, involving chiropractic craniosacral technique and massage, took place over a 4-month period. There was a gradual reduction in plagiocephaly and improvement in facial symmetry, upper limb posture, and movement.
Conclusion: There are few documented cases of birth trauma resulting in both brachial plexus and facial nerve palsies in the neonate. This case documents mild and transient examples of both palsies, where conservative chiropractic care was initiated and appeared successful. Practitioners should be aware that where trauma is sufficient to cause one birth injury, it is capable of causing multiple obstetric injuries. Severe cases risk long-term disability and require medical referral.
[Author's] Key Words: Chiropractic, neonate, birth trauma, facial nerve palsy, forceps birth, shoulder dystocia, Bell’s palsy, infant, facial nerve palsy, Erb’s palsy, torticollis, wry neck, plagiocephaly, VBAC, cephalhematoma, neuropraxia, brachial plexus.
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