Our Experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyers Explain Some Of The Basic Things You Need To Know About Medical Malpractice and Spastic Cerebral Palsy
Spastic Cerebral Palsy is the most common type of Cerebral Palsy and it affects approximately 70% of all patients with Cerebral Palsy. This condition can make simple tasks like walking and picking up objects challenging. It is also common for children with Spastic Cerebral Palsy to develop a secondary condition, such as ADHD or epilepsy.
What are the Types of Spastic Cerebral Palsy?
There are different types of Spastic Cerebral Palsy, each classified based on where the movement issues stem from.
- Spastic Diplegia, Cerebral Palsy that occurs mostly in the legs but can affect the arms too, causing muscle stiffness.
- Spastic Hemiplegia, This type causes one side of the body to be stiffer than the other.
- Spastic Quadriplegia, All four limbs, as well as the torso and face, are affected. This type of Cerebral Palsy usually also causes a secondary condition, such as epilepsy
What Causes Spastic Cerebral Palsy?
Spastic Cerebral Palsy is caused by damage to the motor cortex and the pyramidal tracts of the brain. These tracts connect the motor cortex to the spinal cord. The motor cortex is responsible for controlling movements by sending signals to other parts of the brain. Cerebral Palsy affects the motor cortex by altering its ability to control voluntary movements. This means movements are less fluid and more spastic. This damage to the brain can affect sensory functions such as sight, touch, and movement. The brain can be damaged by:
- A prenatal hemorrhage or infection;
- Lack of oxygen to the brain during birth; and
- A brain infection or trauma after birth.
There are times when a child suffers brain damage that is caused by medical malpractice. This can happen in any number of ways, including if the child’s brain is deprived of oxygen during labor and delivery.
What are the Symptoms of Spastic Cerebral Palsy
Symptoms of this type of cerebral palsy are not consistent across all cases, and the severity of the symptoms varies with the severity of the brain damage. Generally, the most common symptoms include:
- Stiff or tight muscles on one side of the body;
- Exaggerated movements;
- Limited mobility;
- Joints that do not fully extend;
- Walking on toes or an abnormal gait; and
- Abnormal reflexes.
Other issues such as hearing and vision impairment may also be present. Since these symptoms are hard to recognize in an infant, be aware if your child is missing developmental milestones. The symptoms can become clearer when child becomes a toddler, and a full diagnosis is usually given around age five.
What is the treatment for Spastic Cerebral Palsy
In general, the treatment options for Spastic Cerebral Palsy are therapy, medication, and surgery. Therapy includes physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. Physical therapy is aimed at providing patients with as much physical independence as possible, through increased flexibility and strength training. Occupational therapy works on a patient’s necessary everyday skills, such as playing with other children and doing homework. Speech therapy helps children control the muscles used for speaking, which can improve coordination and expressing themselves.
Medications are available to help relax muscles and improve movement. If a child also suffers from epilepsy, medication is available to treat that as well. In some cases, surgery fixes joint dislocations and shortened muscles.
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