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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

What Conditions Can Be Treated With Pediatrics?

Dr. Aparna Pradhan 86% (87 ratings)
BPTh/BPT, MPT
Physiotherapist, Pune
What Conditions Can Be Treated With Pediatrics?
What conditions can be treated with pediatric PT? 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

Is Your Toddler A Late Walker?

Dr. Shyam Behari Sharma 87% (164 ratings)
MBBS, MS - General Surgery, MCh - Pediatric Surgery
Pediatric Surgeon, Jaipur
Is Your Toddler 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!
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Cerebral Palsy - Exercises That Can Help Your Child!

Dr. Rajveer Singh(pt) 90% (91 ratings)
BPTh/BPT, Fellowship in Orthopaedic Rehabilitation (FOR), MBA (Healthcare)
Physiotherapist, Bangalore
Cerebral Palsy - Exercises That Can Help Your Child!
Cerebral palsy refers to a medical condition where a child suffers from certain disabilities as a result of damage caused to his or her brain during or before birth. If a child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy then he or she may experience problem with body movement and brain development may also get affected. Along with difficulties in body movements, there are many other problems that he or she may encounter, such as difficulties in hearing or vision, intellectual disabilities, learning disorder, impaired speech and seizure problems, etc. There are many causes responsible for cerebral palsy; they are stated as follows If the brain of the child is deprived of oxygen during birth Premature birth Severe head injury A brain infection Regular exercises and physiotherapy can help the child to cope up with the condition better. Following are few exercises which may prove to be helpful: Joint exercises: Joint exercises will help a C.P. child to increase flexibility. Muscle exercises: Muscle exercises can help to get rid of muscle tightness which is a common disorder seen in a C.P. child. Stretching exercises: Stretching exercises can prove to be very helpful in dealing with the problem of body movement which is one of the most potent symptoms observed in a C.P child. Balancing exercises: Balancing exercises can help the C.P. child to improve his or her balance. Spine stabilization exercises: Exercising the upper and lower part of the spine can help the C.P. child to strengthen his or her spine which will in turn, help him or her to improve balance. Wrist and knee exercises: Wrist and knee exercises work on the affected wrists and knees, thus improving flexibility and bettering body motions. Swimming exercise: Swimming, as an exercise, involves the movement of many muscles and joints. It can thus help to improve body movement disorder. Exercises with proper assistance can prove to be very beneficial for a child suffering from cerebral palsy.
5898 people found this helpful

Fine Motor Skills - How Occupational Therapy Can Help Improve Them?

Dr. Iram Parveen 89% (669 ratings)
Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT), Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (BOT)
Occupational Therapist, Delhi
Fine Motor Skills - How Occupational Therapy Can Help Improve Them?
What are fine motor skills? Motor skills are movements and actions carried out by the proper coordination of the brain, nervous system, and muscles working together. These motions are divided into two types fine motor skills and gross motor skills. Acquiring and mastering motor skills or control helps you explore the world around you and also helps with your cognitive development. Gross motor skills: They are the movements and actions of the larger groups of muscles of the arms, legs and other body parts to see visible actions like running, swimming, crawling etc Fine motor skills or dexterity: They are the movements and actions of the larger groups of muscles of the wrists, hands, fingers, and the feet and toes to see visible actions like picking up objects between the thumb and finger, writing, etc Fine motor skills will keep developing with your age, practice and the increased use of muscles. This happens while you are playing sports or playing an instrument. Activities like writing, coloring and using the computer also help in acquiring and mastering them. Reasons behind fine motor skill issues As all motor skills require proper coordination of the brain, nervous system, muscles, joints along with good eyesight; issues with any of them can have an effect on dexterity and decrease control. Some common causes affecting the fine motor skills are Stroke: The frontal lobe controls your movement, and the cerebellum fine-tunes them. As the cerebellum controls fine motor movement, balance, and the brain's ability to determine limb position, a stroke in the cerebellum leads to paralysis or "jerky" muscle movements. Dyspraxia or DCD: This condition affects co-ordination of gross motor skills requiring balance, kicking and throwing a ball and fine motor skills too such as writing or using small objects carefully in children and adults. Apart from stroke or DCD any major injury, illness, congenital deformities, cerebral palsy, and developmental disabilities can hamper the fine motor skills development too. Occupational therapy for improving fine motor skills All fine motor skills are imperative for your own self-care and maintaining self-dependence for the different activates carried out throughout your life, any dexterity issues can severely bring down your self-esteem and quality of life. Occupational therapy can help improve overall fine motor skills. It involves the use of particular activities as an aid to recuperation from physical or mental illness. An Occupational therapist can practice in different settings, like: hospitals, long-term care facilities, schools, outpatient clinics, and the assisted living communities too. So, depending on how soon the fine motor skill issues are diagnosed and their severity one can approach the Occupational therapist for their improvement. He or she would then follow an assessment process allowing them to identify the nature of your difficulties with fine motor skills, and the reasons for them. Once identified, they work with you to put in place a plan to address them. Depending on each individual case the therapy would involve a practice of different movements on a regular basis to help you improve and master the fine motor skills.
4973 people found this helpful

What You Need to Know About Clubfoot?

Dr. Ramakanth Reddy 88% (88 ratings)
MBBS, Diploma in Child Health
Pediatrician, Hyderabad
What You Need to Know About Clubfoot?
What You Need to Know About Clubfoot? Clubfoot most often presents at birth. Clubfoot is caused by a shortened Achilles tendon, which causes the foot to turn in and under. Clubfoot is twice as common in boys. Treatment is necessary to correct clubfoot and is usually done in two phases casting and bracing. Children with clubfoot should be able to take part in regular daily activities once the condition is treated. What is clubfoot? Clubfoot is a foot deformity classified into three different types: idiopathic (unknown cause), neurogenic (caused by condition of the nervous system) and syndromic (related to an underlying syndrome). Idiopathic Clubfoot Also known as talipes equinovarus, idiopathic clubfoot is the most common type of clubfoot and is present at birth. This congenital anomaly is seen in one out of every 1,000 babies, with half of the cases of club foot involving only one foot. There is currently no known cause of idiopathic clubfoot, but baby boys are twice as likely to have clubfoot compared to baby girls. Neurogenic Clubfoot Neurogenic clubfoot is caused by an underlying neurologic condition. For instance, a child born with spina bifida A clubfoot may also develop later in childhood due to cerebral palsy or a spinal cord compression. Syndromic Clubfoot Syndromic clubfoot is found along with a number of other clinical conditions, which relate to an underlying syndrome. Examples of syndromes where a clubfoot can occur include arthrogryposis, constriction band syndrome, tibial hemimelia and diastrophic dwarfism. What are the signs and symptoms of clubfoot? In a clubfoot, the Achilles tendon is too short, causing the foot to stay pointed also known as fixing the foot in equinus. The foot is also turned in and under. The bones of the foot and ankle are all present but are misaligned due to differences in the muscles and tendons acting on the foot. What are the risk factors of clubfoot? Having a parent or sibling with clubfoot Maternal smoking during pregnancy Male Clubfoot Diagnosis Foot imbalance due to clubfoot may be noticed during a fetal screening ultrasound as early as 12 weeks gestation, but the diagnosis of clubfoot is confirmed by physical exam at birth. Clubfoot Treatment The treatment for clubfoot consists of two phases: Ponseti serial casting and bracing. Treatment is always necessary, because the condition does not get better with growth. Ponseti Serial Casting The Ponseti technique of serial casting is a treatment method that involves careful stretching and manipulation of the foot and holding with a cast. The first cast is applied one to two weeks after the baby is born. The cast is then changed in the office every seven to 10 days. With the fourth or fifth cast, a small in-office procedure is also needed to lengthen the Achilles tendon. This is done using a local numbing medicine and small blade. Afterward, the baby is placed into one last cast, which remains on for two to three weeks. Bracing for Clubfoot While the casting corrects the foot deformity, bracing maintains the correction. Without bracing, the clubfoot would redevelop. The day the last cast is removed, the baby is fit in a supramalleolar orthosis with a bar. These braces are worn 23 hours a day for two months, then 12 hours a day (naps plus nighttime) until kindergarten age. Life after Treatment of Clubfoot A well-corrected clubfoot looks no different than a normal foot. Sports, dance and normal daytime footwear are the expectations for a child born with a clubfoot. This condition will not hold a child back from normal activities.
1 person found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

My 11 year old son is a CP child. He is having problem in lower limbs. We have gone for botox twice but now crouching is too much. Do we need to go for corrective surgery?

Dr. Pulak Mukherjee 91% (2883 ratings)
BHMS
Homeopath, Hooghly
Well cerebral palsy is treatable to some extent,,by surgical procedure it's not totally curable,,but u can do proper homoeopathic treatment which can be an alternative,,u can think about it also,,

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?

Mr. Ujjwal Mathew 89% (82 ratings)
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.

I am suffering from bells palsy last 15 years. Left .right facial palsy. No Fan, cold,AC. Cold water, cold air. No habits drinking, smoking etc. M.D.said take care from above mentioned subject. Suggest medicine.

Dr. M S Siddiqui 90% (126 ratings)
M.B.B.S.; MD(MEDICINE)
General Physician, Lucknow
Avoid direct exposure of eye to dust, smoke, any irritant, use big glasses, or goggles, while washing and wiping your face with towel use upstrokes not the downstrokes, no medciation are going to help you, if it is problem of irritant eyes, or cosmetic look, then you may consult you plastic surgeon.

Can cerebral palsy be cured by surgery? Age 25 years and the disease continue from childhood?

Dr. Ridip Saikia 89% (38 ratings)
MS - General Surgery, Mch Neurosurgery
Neurosurgeon, Guwahati
For cerebral palsy no Surgical treatment as such. Sometimes surgeries are done for intractable seizure in cases of cerebral palsy.

Sir, Mera beta 10 years ka Hai aur wo cerebral palsy se peedet Hai to Kya wo spider therapy s theek ho sakta hai. Sir please reply me must.

Dr. Hetal Jariwala 90% (2666 ratings)
MD - Alternate Medicine, BHMS
Homeopath, Surat
I'd like to tell u to go for homeopathic treatment. Homeopathy has proved really good in such complicated cases. It will take time in your son's case, but you will definitely have results within 6 to 8 months.

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