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How Can Surgical Interventions Help a Child With Cerebral Palsy?

Posted on in Cerebral Palsy

Cook County cerebral palsy birth injury attorney

If you are a parent of a child with cerebral palsy (CP), you know just how difficult it can be to watch your child suffer from CP symptoms. Children with CP caused by a birth injury may experience trouble controlling their movements, problems with walking and coordination, difficulty swallowing, pain, and much more. Each CP case is very different. Some sufferers only experience mild symptoms that have a manageable effect on their everyday lives, while other CP sufferers endure symptoms that are completely incapacitating. As a parent of a child with cerebral palsy, you may wonder if any medical procedures can help your child gain control over CP symptoms. Surgery is not right for everyone, but some CP patients find that surgical interventions such as the ones described below improve their mobility, independence, and overall quality of life. 

Procedures That Can Alleviate CP Symptoms

The most challenging symptoms for many cerebral palsy patients are muscle spasticity and stiffness. Orthopedic surgery on a CP patient’s arms, wrists, legs, or feet may help correct alignment issues, enhance motor functioning, and increase the patient’s overall control over his or her movements. Surgical procedures may also be able to address CP symptoms such as curvature of the spine (scoliosis), spinal deformities, tremors, gastrointestinal distress, hearing difficulties, joint problems, hip dislocation, and pain. As with any type of surgery, there are certain risks associated with CP surgeries, including complications with anesthesia, infections, and excessive bleeding. A doctor may recommend surgery to a CP patient if he or she believes that the benefits of the surgery will outweigh the risks. In many cases, non-invasive treatments such as physical therapy, medications, muscle injections, and orthotic devices are usually performed before surgery is considered an option.

Muscle Lengthening and Tendon Lengthening

You may have heard about some CP sufferers who have benefited from “leg-lengthening” surgery. Muscle or tendon lengthening surgeries may help relieve joint stiffness, reduce contractures (shortening of muscles and tendons), and increase the CP patient’s range of motion. Leg lengthening surgery most often addresses hamstring tendons, Achilles tendons, and tendons in the hips, but other muscles and tendons may also be addressed. In CP sufferers, the muscles and tendons attached to bones can sometimes become so tight that it causes the joints to dislocate. Tendon lengthening procedures may help relax tendons and allow them to stretch better. Muscle lengthening procedures may help reduce spasticity in the legs by elongating and releasing contracted muscles. If you want to learn more about the types of surgical procedures that may help your child reduce his or her CP symptoms, it is important to be informed of all of the risks by talking to your child’s doctor first.

Contact an Illinois Birth Injury Lawyer

Cerebral palsy can be caused by a number of issues, including birth injuries suffered during labor and delivery. At Birth Injury Law Alliance, we help parents of children with CP determine whether medical negligence played a role in their child developing this painful and debilitating condition. If your child’s cerebral palsy is the result of a medical error, we will work diligently to secure the financial compensation that your family needs and deserves. To learn more, call our office today at 312-945-1300 and schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable Chicago medical malpractice attorney from our firm.

 

Sources:
https://www.stlouischildrens.org/conditions-treatments/center-for-cerebral-palsy-spasticity/tendon-lengthening-following-sdr
https://nyulangone.org/conditions/cerebral-palsy-in-children/treatments/surgery-for-cerebral-palsy-in-children
https://www.childrenshospital.org/centers-and-services/programs/a-_-e/cerebral-palsy-program/cerebral-palsy-treatments/orthopedic-surgery#

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