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Overview

Cerebral Palsy: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is the treatment?

Cerebral palsy is a condition that mostly affects children. This is generally a disorder of movement, posture or muscle tone and it is the result of some damage to the immature, developing brain. It mostly affects a child even before its birth. Children generally experience the symptoms during the preschool years or infancy. A child may suffer from impaired movement which is associated with abnormal reflexes, abnormal posture, involuntary movement, unsteady walking, rigidity or floppiness of the trunk and limbs or a combination of all these symptoms. People suffering from this condition may also have problems with swallowing and even experience vision problems due to imbalance of the eye muscle. Cerebral palsy may cause a person to lose mobility while it may result in intellectual disability in some other person. Some of the other symptoms may include blindness, deafness and epilepsy.

Cerebral palsy may be caused due to a number of factors. So the treatment for cerebral palsy is also as complex as the disease itself. The main target of treating cerebral palsy includes: improving mobility, controlling pain, managing the primary conditions, maximizing independence, fostering self-care, improving interactions with the society and family, improving the potential to learn, controlling the pain and furnishing a better quality of life.

Treatment involves taking a lot of different steps. A child may require the services of an entire medical care team which can include a pediatrician, orthopaedic surgeon, speech-language specialist, mental health specialist, developmental therapist, physical therapist and even a special education teacher. Sometimes medications and alternative therapies are also used. In some cases, a physician my also recommend surgery.

How is the treatment done?

Both children and adults afflicted with cerebral palsy require the services of a medical care team which includes a pediatrician or physiatrist who oversees the entire treatment plan. An orthopedic surgeon is required to treat the muscle and bone disorders. A child suffering from this condition may require the services of an occupational therapist, who will help him/her to develop the skills and to learn to use adaptive products that will help him/her in performing daily activities. A speech-language specialist helps a person to deal with problems with speech, language and swallowing problems. A special education teacher will help a person to address the problems associated with learning by identifying the special educational requirements of the person.

Sometimes a doctor may recommend medications to improve the functioning of the body, to treat pain or to manage any complications that may arise related to spasticity or other symptoms of cerebral palsy. Doctors may recommend Botox injections to be administered directly into the muscle or nerve if a person suffers from spasticity of a single muscle group. Drugs like Valium, dantrium and gablofen are oral muscle relaxants that are used to treat generalized spasticity.

Physical therapy, occupational therapy, recreational therapy and speech and language therapy help a person with cerebral palsy to improve his/her functional abilities. Furthermore, orthopedic surgery may be recommended to children suffering from severe contractures or deformities. This surgery is basically used to place arms, legs or hips in their correct positions. When all other treatments have failed, a surgeon may perform a procedure called selective dorsal rhizotomy. This involves cutting the nerves that serves the spastic muscle.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

A person suffering from cerebral palsy may suffer from underdeveloped or overdeveloped muscles, poor balance and coordination known as ataxia, spastic paralysis, athetosis or involuntary and slow writhing movements and limited range of body movement. The child may have problems with his/her basic development; have problems with vision or hearing, may suffer from seizures, may drool and have problems with sucking, swallowing and feeding and also have difficulty in controlling bladder or bowel movements. A person experiencing some or most of these symptoms is eligible for treatment.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

A physician may check an infant’s medical history and track his/her development to see whether he/she is suffering from cerebral palsy or not. A doctor will examine a child’s movements, posture, muscle tone and also his/her reflexes. A child not diagnosed by a doctor to be suffering from this condition is not eligible for treatment. A person may suffer from other conditions which have similar symptoms like tumor or muscular dystrophy. In such cases blood tests, head ultrasound or an MRI or CT scan may be performed for proper diagnosis.

Are there any side effects?

Botox injections may cause side effects like allergic reactions, itching, rash, stiffness of muscles, shortness of breath, nausea, pain in the neck and back, muscle weakness, diarrhea, stomach pain and difficulty in swallowing. A person may also suffer from injection site reactions like bruising, bleeding, redness, swelling and infection. A person taking diazepam may suffer from shakiness, unsteadiness and even may experience problems with controlling or coordinating muscle. Patients may also suffer from post-surgical complications if he/she has undergone orthopedic surgery or selective posterior rhizotomy.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

A child’s functional abilities are impaired if he/she suffers from cerebral palsy. The best treatment includes nondrug therapies like physical therapy, occupational therapy, recreational therapy and speech and language therapy. There is basically no cure for cerebral palsy. A person suffering from this will have some impairment and the most that can be done is manage the symptoms and ease the pain. So a person will have to undertake treatment for a long time. Hence, there are no such post-treatment guidelines.

How long does it take to recover?

There is no such treatment for cerebral palsy. The brain injury or the problem causing cerebral palsy does not get worse, but in some other cases, newer complications may arise. People with cerebral palsy are often considered healthy even if they have impairment. A child affected by this condition my live for 30-70 years depending on the severity of the condition.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

Botox injections may cost between Rs 15000 – Rs 18000 in India. A speech and language therapy session may cost anything between Rs 6000 and Rs 10000. Physical therapy sessions cost around Rs 3000. Selective dorsal rhizotomy is expensive and may cost more than Rs 20 lakhs.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

People with cerebral palsy suffer from some impairment. Drugs or different therapies may help them to lead a better life. But they do not normally provide a permanent cure. They help to contain the symptoms. Newer complications may arise as the child gradually ages. Thus, he/she will have to continue with the therapy or continue taking the prescribed drugs. Thus, in most cases, the results are not permanent.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Controlled clinical trials like hyperbaric oxygen therapy, resistance exercise training by using special clothing and even some types of electrical stimulation are used to treat cerebral palsy in spite of inconclusive treatment. Doctors are also exploring the reliability of stem cell therapy to treat cerebral palsy.

Safety: Medium Effectiveness: Medium Timeliness: Medium Relative Risk: Low Side Effects: Low Time For Recovery: High Price Range:

Rs 15000 - Rs 2 lakh

Popular Health Tips

Cerebral Palsy In Kids - Treatments That Can Help!

Diploma in Child Health (DCH), MRCPCH, MRCP (UK), MD - Paediatrics, MBBS
Pediatrician, Delhi
Cerebral Palsy In Kids - Treatments That Can Help!

Cerebral Palsy is a disorder related to the posture, movement or muscle tone, mostly due to immature development of the brain in a baby. This condition usually crops up, when the baby is already in the womb. The symptoms may surface when the baby is in its infancy or even later. Irregularities in the reflexes, posture, walking style, etc should ring a bell for the parents. Kids suffering from cerebral palsy may also suffer from muscle imbalance of the eye muscles, leading to problems focusing on an object. The range of motions becomes limited as well. There could be conditions such as deafness, epilepsy, impaired brain function and blindness associated with this disease. 

Whom to consult for cerebral palsy in kids? 
A kid suffering from Cerebral Palsy might have to work with a medical team for a very long time. Parents might need the help of a paediatrician, orthopaedic surgeon, paediatric neurologist, physical therapist, speech-language pathologist, mental health specialist, developmental therapist, recreation therapist and special education teacher. 

Treatments that are available for Cerebral Palsy in kids Medication: 

Medications: Medications are often used to improve the functional abilities of a kid. Certain spasticity related complications, treatment of pain, and other symptoms of Cerebral Palsy can be treated with medications. It is important to discuss with the doctor, the side-effects involved in taking the medication. There are two types of medications- for isolated spasticity and for generalized spasticity. In case of Isolated spasticity, doctors recommend Botox injections every 4-6 months to stabilize one muscle group. If the whole body is affected due to cerebral palsy, doctors recommend medications such as baclofen, diazepam and dantrolene to relax the contracted and stiff muscles. 

Therapies: While there are many therapy treatment, three types of therapies are the most important for treating a child suffering from cerebral palsy. They are physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech& language therapy. Physical therapy is necessary for the flexibility, mobility and motor development of the child. Occupational therapy helps a kid imbibe alternative strategies to participate in daily activities. From teaching a child to walk with a cane to help them operate a wheelchair, physical therapy makes a child self-sufficient as much as possible. Speech and language therapy helps child’s ability to communicate either verbally or with sign-language. 

Surgery: Surgery may be necessary to loosen the muscles, correct abnormalities of the bone etc. An orthopaedic surgery is necessary in cases where a kid was born with several deformities. The correction can decrease pain and increase mobility. In severe cases when the normal treatments do not help, doctors cut the tendon of spastic muscle. It helps to relieve the pain and relax the muscle.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2638 people found this helpful

When Your Toddler Is A Late Walker

MBBS, MD - Paediatrics
Pediatrician, Varanasi
When Your Toddler Is A Late Walker

Some babies learn to walk by the age of nine to ten months, and others may take longer, much longer to start walking properly. By the age of 15 months, people may start asking you if your little munchkin is able to walk yet. These constant questions can eventually irk you off, and keep you wondering if truly your baby is facing any sort of disability or not. In most cases, you will probably find your baby was too lazy to start walking all along, and he has mastered the art of “toddling” a couple of months later. Other times, when your baby has not started walking in over 17 months, you may want to give your paediatrician a visit.

When should you not worry?

If your baby is an active child and is playing around normally, you may not worry about him or her too much. If you find your child able to move around crawling or rapidly kicking his legs around, then your child is probably a late bloomer when it comes to walking. Other factors that will indicate that your baby is not going through any developmental issues are when he or she is able to communicate with sounds or broken speech. Other thing that you must keep in your mind is the relative age of your baby if it is born premature. If your toddler was born two months prematurely, then you must consider his developmental age by adding two months to his actual birth. Also notice if your child is able to move positions on his own, like if he is able to change positions when he is sitting down or lying down. As such, inability to walk is not really a solid indicative of a developmental disorder.

When is it of concern?

When you go to your paediatrician with your child regarding his inability to walk, your doctor will firstly take a note of the general movement of your baby. Thus the “quality” of movement is what matters the most. If your baby is showing signs of rigidity or flaccidity in his limbs, it may concern your doctor, as it is the primary symptom of cerebral palsy. Nothing can be concluded unless your get proper reports of scans like MRIs which your doctor will recommend you to get.

If your child is not walking, avoid carrying him around too much to allow him to make movements on his own. Who knows, you may find yourself chasing him around all over in no time! If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a pediatrician.

3894 people found this helpful

Placental Insufficiency - Know the Facts!

MBBS, DGO
Gynaecologist, Gurgaon
Placental Insufficiency -  Know the Facts!

The placenta is a link between you and your baby during pregnancy. It helps your baby to grow normally by providing it with food and oxygen. When the placenta is not able to do its work properly, the condition is called placental insufficiency or dysfunction.

Placental insufficiency is a serious complication of pregnancy and can happen when the placenta does not develop properly or is damaged. If this condition develops, the baby doesn’t get the nutrition and oxygen it needs to grow and can develop complications like low birth weight, premature birth, and birth defects. The mother can also develop dangerous complications if it’s left undiagnosed. Thus placental insufficiency must be diagnosed as early into the pregnancy to avoid these complications.

Causes of placental insufficiency
Actually, placental insufficiency is a blood flow disorder which happens due to a reduction in the mother’s blood supply. It can be triggered by vascular disorders, medications, lifestyle and  the following:         

  1. Diabetes
  2. Chronic hypertension
  3. Blood clotting disorders
  4. Serious anemia
  5. Blood thinners
  6. Smoking
  7. Drug abuse 

Other causes of placental insufficiency are cases where the placenta doesn’t attach properly to the uterine wall or if the placenta breaks away from it.

Symptoms
Unfortunately, there are no symptoms of this dangerous condition in the mother except that she may notice that the size of her uterus is smaller than in previous pregnancies.  She may also notice that the fetus is moving less than before. As far as symptoms of placental abruption or disruption go, there may be vaginal bleeding or pre-term labour contractions. In case placental insufficiency is not diagnosed, the mother can experience a serious fatal condition called Preeclampsia, which means high BP and protein in the urine as well as disruption of the placenta and pre-term birth. The picture for the baby is pretty dim too. The earlier placental insufficiency happens, the more grave the risk for the baby. The baby can suffer from:

  1. Cerebral palsy and learning disabilities
  2. Low body temperature 
  3. Low blood sugar 
  4. Premature birth
  5. Cesarean delivery
  6. Stillbirth
  7. Death

Placental insufficiency can’t be cured, but it can be managed. Once diagnosed, it can be managed through proper prenatal care like treating maternal high blood pressure or diabetes, education on preeclampsia and ways to self-monitor for the disease, frequent doctor visits, bed rest to conserve energy for the baby and consultation with a specialist. These can improve the baby’s chances of normal growth. 

Proper prenatal care of pregnant women is thus, very important as it can diagnose placental insufficiency early. A simple ultrasound can diagnose this dangerous condition by measuring the baby's size and growth, and assessing the size and placement of the placenta. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a gynaecologist and ask a free question.

2241 people found this helpful

Is Your Toddler A Late Walker - Should You Worry?

IPNA(Nephrologist), ISPN, Diploma In Child Health (DCH), MBBS
Pediatrician, Delhi
Is Your Toddler A Late Walker - Should You Worry?

Some babies learn to walk by the age of nine to ten months, and others may take longer, much longer to start walking properly. By the age of 15 months, people may start asking you if your little munchkin is able to walk yet. These constant questions can eventually irk you off, and keep you wondering if truly your baby is facing any sort of disability or not. In most cases, you will probably find your baby was too lazy to start walking all along, and he has mastered the art of “toddling” a couple of months later. Other times, when your baby has not started walking in over 17 months, you may want to give your paediatrician a visit.

When should you not worry?

If your baby is an active child and is playing around normally, you may not worry about him or her too much. If you find your child able to move around crawling or rapidly kicking his legs around, then your child is probably a late bloomer when it comes to walking. Other factors that will indicate that your baby is not going through any developmental issues are when he or she is able to communicate with sounds or broken speech. Other thing that you must keep in your mind is the relative age of your baby if it is born premature. If your toddler was born two months prematurely, then you must consider his developmental age by adding two months to his actual birth. Also notice if your child is able to move positions on his own, like if he is able to change positions when he is sitting down or lying down. As such, inability to walk is not really a solid indicative of a developmental disorder.

When is it of concern?

When you go to your paediatrician with your child regarding his inability to walk, your doctor will firstly take a note of the general movement of your baby. Thus the “quality” of movement is what matters the most. If your baby is showing signs of rigidity or flaccidity in his limbs, it may concern your doctor, as it is the primary symptom of cerebral palsy. Nothing can be concluded unless your get proper reports of scans like MRIs which your doctor will recommend you to get.

If your child is not walking, avoid carrying him around too much to allow him to make movements on his own. Who knows, you may find yourself chasing him around all over in no time!

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2534 people found this helpful

What Conditions Can Be Treated With Pediatrics?

BPTh/BPT, MPT
Physiotherapist, Pune
What Conditions Can Be Treated With Pediatrics?

Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Down Syndrome, Muscular Dystrophy and associated disorders, Spina Bifida, Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, Arthrogyposis, Cardio-Pulmonary Disorders, Cystic Fibrosis, Cancer,and Traumatic Brain Injury. In addition, many children present with hypotonia and developmental coordination disorder without a formal diagnosis. Orthopedic conditions - scoliosis, back pain, sports injuries, fractures, and orthopedic surgeries.

What is the pediatric PT’srole?

Pediatric physical therapist evaluates and provides treatment for delays in motor skills by developing the strength and range of motion that children need to move easily and effectively. In addition to assessment of flexibility, strength, posture, gait, sensory processing, balance,coordination and skill.Long-term goal - Gross motor skill development solid to age with good quality to both sides of the body.

  • Despite variations depending on the child, neuro motor development stages occur in a specific order in the first years of life.
  • The order of a normal motor development for an infant is:
  • At 3 months old baby should be able to:Raise the head while on the stomach
  • Open and close the hands Bring the hand to the mouth Catch and shake objects at hand reach
  • At 4 to 7 months -Baby learns to:Roll back on the belly on both sidesTo pull himself to sit down Keep sitting with the support of his hands forward

At 8 to 12 months she should be able to:Sit down still unaidedCrawlUse his hands when topples forward or sidewaysCrawlHold stand upMove from one position to anotherWalk aided by holding on to objects or when moving objectsOf course, depending on the child’s abilities, these learning stages may vary by a few months, but it is important to stimulate -and yet not over-stimulate the baby- with the help of games, educational hugs and massages to guide your child towards a proper development.

If your baby does not have any neurological disorder but you have doubts about her/him progress, our specialist will do a complete assessment and give you all the appropriate advices to monitor and guide your baby’s progression.

1 person found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

Doctor, I am currently recovering from Bell's Palsy. It started about 15 days ago. I think it will be gone in half a month. I have had this problem about 2 years ago. I am currently doing the electronic stimulation physiotherapy. I did the same last time for about a month. This time I was told to do MRI of my head since it is occurring again. Is there an danger in not doing the MRI? I have no problems besides Bell's Palsy by the way. Thank you.

MS - General Surgery, FMAS.Laparoscopy
General Surgeon, Gandhinagar
Hello dear Lybrate user, Warm welcome to Lybrate.com I have evaluated your query thoroughly. The MRI is for diagnostic modality, there is no harm in not doing MRI Continue current medications and physiotherapy for better recovery Later on if you think, decide for MRI later on. Hope this clears your query. Wishing you fine recovery. Welcome for any further assistance at my private URL https://www.Lybrate.com/gandhinagar/doctor/dr-bhagyesh-patel-general-surgeon Regards take care.

Sir I am suffering for cerebral Palsy from the age of 5 years till now onward. Now my age is 27. So please suggest me some tips so that I can be better. Thanks.

MS - General Surgery, FMAS.Laparoscopy
General Surgeon, Gandhinagar
Hello dear Lybrate user, Warm welcome to Lybrate.com I have evaluated your query thoroughly. Balanced nutritious diet, deep breathing exercises, YOGA will support best. Hope this clears your query. Wishing you fine recovery. Welcome for any further assistance. Regards take care.
1 person found this helpful

What are the latest treatments for cerebral palsy and autism? What is the difference between cerebral palsy and autism? Please tell me symptoms of c.p and autism?

BSC - Hearing and Speech
Speech Therapist, Salem
Autism affects the normal development of the brain in areas such as social interaction, problem-solving and communication. Cerebral Palsy is actually caused by brain damage. The brain damage is caused by brain injury or abnormal development of the brain that occurs while a child’s brain is still developing — before birth, during birth, or immediately after birth. Cerebral Palsy affects body movement, muscle control, muscle coordination, muscle tone, reflex, posture and balance. It can also impact fine motor skills, gross motor skills and oral motor functioning. In both Autism and Cerebral palsy, they need ongoing therapies for their difficulties they face. Most of the time they need, Speech therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy (for cp kids basically), medications if needed. Team approach with the above said team members will produce good results in the child’s development. Thanks.

My child of 5 years completed and suffering from cerebral palsy. He unable to talk till now. So please respond my question?

MBBS, MCH Neurosurgery
Neurosurgeon, Hisar
Hi, 5 years old child with cerebral palsy and unable to walk till now .Generally therw is no cure for cerebral palsy and only physiotherapy can help. You are advised to go to pediatric rehabilitation centre. Thanks.
7 people found this helpful

I have a daughter with cerebral palsy and the Dr. said he will treat with drug please need opinion because right noe daughter can not walk, stand on her feet or weight, talk, can not grab anything with her hands or used her hand to feed her self. She is 5 years old.

MBBS, MCH Neurosurgery
Neurosurgeon, Hisar
Hi, cerebral palsy is a sequlae of hypoxic injury to brain .It can not be cured .Generally children with CP need extra care and dependent on their parents .You are advised to go to pediatric rehabilitation centre. Stem cell transplant may have some role in treatment. Thanks.

Table of Content

What is the treatment?
How is the treatment done?
Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)
Who is not eligible for the treatment?
Are there any side effects?
What are the post-treatment guidelines?
How long does it take to recover?
What is the price of the treatment in India?
Are the results of the treatment permanent?
What are the alternatives to the treatment?