Cerebral palsy, a group of disorders caused by severe brain damage, is a condition that affects muscle control and posture. Many children with cerebral palsy may also develop other problems associated with the condition including learning disabilities, mental retardation, seizures, hearing and vision impairment, and speech difficulties. Depending on the type and extent of cerebral palsy, the symptoms and effects of may range from mild to severe.
Currently, there is no cure for cerebral palsy. However, there are numerous cerebral palsy treatments and therapies aimed at improving the quality of an individual’s life. If your child has cerebral palsy, you may wish to work with a team of healthcare professionals who are trained to develop a specialized treatment plan that will help your child to reach his/her maximum potential.
Cerebral palsy treatments and therapies include but are not limited to the following:
- Physical therapy helps to enhance muscle strength, to improve motor skills like walking, and to prevent contractures, which occur when joint movement is affected by the shortening of muscles. Braces and casts are also commonly used alongside physical therapy to achieve optimal results.
- Occupational therapy involves the use of trained specialists who can work with your child to help him/her develop the skills necessary for day-to-day living. For example, a speech therapist works with children who suffer from speech impairment to improve their communication skills. In some severe cases, children with cerebral palsy can learn to use technologies like computerized voice synthesizers to help them communicate.
- Drug therapy, including oral medications, are commonly prescribed by doctors to help reduce muscle spasticity and ease abnormal movements in children with cerebral palsy. Unfortunately, oral medications are not always effective in treating cerebral palsy symptoms. However, Botox injections have become one of the most common forms of drug therapy for both children and adults with the condition. Botox injections are made directly into tight muscles to ease spasticity and have been proven to increase the effectiveness of physical therapy.
- Surgery is one cerebral palsy treatment option that could help treat more severe symptoms of the condition. Surgery may work to lengthen seriously contracted muscles that limit joint movement. Children who suffer severe spasticity in both legs can undergo a selective dorsal rhizotomy, which permanently relieves tight muscles and improves walking, sitting, and standing.
- Mechanical devices such as walkers, specialized wheelchairs, positioning devices, and customized tricycles and scooters are mechanical aids that are specially designed to help children with cerebral palsy improve the quality of their lives. New and improved technologies continue to be developed everyday to allow those who suffer the effects of cerebral palsy reach their greatest potential.
Please contact us today to learn more about various cerebral palsy treatments or to speak with a qualified and caring medical malpractice attorney about your legal rights and interests.