3 Specialists For Your Child With Cerebral Palsy

Health & Medical Blog

According to the most recent statistics, about 500,000 children in the United States have cerebral palsy. This non-progressive neurological disorder is usually the result of a loss of oxygen to the brain either before, during, or shortly after birth. Babies born prematurely are especially susceptible to having cerebral palsy. There are many different forms of cerebral palsy, and some are much more severe than others. For children who have monoplegia, only one of their limbs is affected. Others have quadriplegia, which affects all four limbs.

No matter what type of cerebral palsy a child has, they will most likely have to see the following specialists at some point in their life.

1. Pediatrician

If there has been oxygen deprivation during the birthing process, it's very important for that baby to see a pediatrician. This type of doctor specializes in babies and children and will be able to determine if the baby is not meeting the standard developmental milestones. For instance, most babies are able to hold their head up on their own while in a sitting position at about four months of age.

Babies with cerebral palsy usually experience delays when meeting these milestones. In these cases, a pediatrician will most likely recommend physical and occupational therapy to help develop their gross and fine motor skills.

2. Neurologist

Since cerebral palsy involves damaged parts of the brain, it is usually helpful for them to see a neurologist. This type of doctor specializes in disorders of the nervous system, which involves the brain, nerves, and spinal cord. A neurologist will want to take pictures of the brain to help determine what parts of the brain are damaged.

Different parts of the brain affect certain functions of the body and knowing this information can help parents figure out how this will affect their child and what types of early intervention can help them.

3. Orthopaedic Surgeon

Many children with cerebral palsy are afflicted with spasticity, which means the muscles are continuously contracted. In some instances, severe spasticty greatly reduces mobility. In order to improve or regain mobility, there are certain procedures available that can be performed by an orthopaedic surgeon.

Some of the most common types of orthopaedic procedures for children with cerebral palsy include:

  • Muscle and/or tendon lengthening - used to reduce painful contractures
  • Tenotomy/myotomy – used to improve muscle function
  • Osteotomy - used to correct hip dislocations

These types of surgeries not only help to improve mobility but also to decrease pain. Contact a clinic, like Orthopaedic Associates Of Rochester, for more help.


23 July 2019

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