As a set of permanent movement disorders, cerebral palsy is caused due to abnormal development of child’s brain or damage caused to child’s brain before, during or after birth. The signs and symptoms of the cerebral palsy differ from one child to another. But the common symptoms of the permanent movement disorder include weak or stiff muscles, poor coordination, and tremors. Many children with cerebral palsy also experience problems with vision, speaking, swallowing, hearing and sensation.
Normally, a child with cerebral palsy shows these signs and symptoms from the age of two to three. But the disorder is non-progressive in nature. Hence, the brain damage does not continue or increase with advancement in age. But the signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy keep changing in both short and long runs. Often orthopaedic decides treatment based on the type as well as current signs and symptoms on the brain disorder.
Often specialists try to minimize signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy with a variety of medication. There are also certain medications that can minimize or prevent symptoms of the brain disorder in the longer run. Many orthopaedics recommend muscle relaxants to reduce muscle spasms and relax tight muscles. Some of these medicines are taken by mouth, whereas others need to be injected directly into the stiff muscles. But each medication has its own side effects. Hence, experts always recommend medication by keeping in mind its effect on the child. Also, they decide right medications based on the results of a set of tests and examinations.
Sometimes orthopaedics have to perform surgery to make the affected muscles or limbs more flexible or reduce muscle stiffness. The often perform orthopaedic surgery to increase range of motion. Normally, orthopaedic surgery is performed for muscles, joints and tendons. On the other hand, the experts perform selective dorsal rhizotomy on children with severe muscle tightness in the legs. While performing the surgery, they resolve movement problems by removing nerves of affected limbs. However, the experts always decide the type of surgery based on the symptoms of cerebral palsy and results of various tests.
Many experts even try to reduce symptoms of cerebral palsy with a variety of therapies. They normally treat a child with this form of brain disorder with speech, physical, and/or occupational therapies. Some experts even perform physical therapy immediately after the child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy to prevent orthopaedic surgery. They even combine physical therapies with a variety of equipments and tools to enhance the child’s movement and make him feel relaxed and comfortable. Some experts even perform speech therapy to eliminate communication issues and intellectual disability associated with cerebral palsy.
In addition to providing the most effective cerebral palsy treatment to the child, it is also important for the parents to learn cerebral palsy management. They must be familiar with various aspects of the brain disorder to prevent the treatment from becoming stressful and uncomfortable for the child. Also, they must pick the right specialist to minimize the signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy over a longer period of time.