Cerebral Palsy is a catchall term for a variety of disorders that affect a child's ability to move, maintain posture and balance.
These disorders are caused by injury to the developing brain. The injuries may happen before a child is born, during birth or within the first few years of life, and sometimes the cause is unknown.
The injury damages the brain causing a problem with how the brain communicates with muscles.
Muscles can be too tight or too loose and children with cerebral palsy may also have seizures, difficulty with learning, growth, vision and hearing.
Marshfield Clinic manages the problems caused by cerebral palsy through a multidisciplinary process.
Several pediatric medical specialists and therapists provide care for children with cerebral palsy. Children with most complex needs make are seen in our Special Needs Clinic.
Cerebral Palsy Treatments
Treatment for children with cerebral palsy is tailored to their needs. All treatments focus on promoting development, preventing and managing problems caused by cerebral palsy.
These treatments include:
- Physical, Occupational and Speech therapies
- Spasticity management utilizing oral medications, Botox, Phenol, serial casting, bracing and Baclofen pump placement and management.
- Positioning supports such as braces, crutches, splints, special chairs and special strollers
- Parent education about how to manage care needs
- Orthopedic surgery to manage muscle or bone problems caused by spasticity or hypotonia
- Seizure management including ketogenic diet
- Medical equipment such as wheelchairs, standers, lifts, and shower and toilet adaptive equipment
- Social services for accessing resources