Treatment options for cerebral palsy are generally an individualized plan because the condition, which affects your ability to move and maintain balance and posture, has a variety of impacts.
In most cases, doctors prescribe a combination of several different strategies to combat the challenges associated with living with cerebral palsy. This may include addressing complications and co-occurring conditions, as well as any physical limitations caused by cerebral palsy. Medication, surgery, therapy, and early intervention strategies are just a few possible facets of a typical cerebral palsy treatment plan.
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Medical Treatment Plan for Cerebral Palsy
There is no one standard course of treatment needed or effective for a child with cerebral palsy. Instead, doctors will need to determine the classification of the condition and how it will likely affect the child. They will need to consider co-occurring conditions and the impact of cerebral palsy on the child, including possible future complications.
Doctors, parents, and specialists will work together to develop a plan to address the child’s symptoms and improve their quality of life. Due to the nature of cerebral palsy, it is important that a child with the disorder get started on their treatment plan as early as possible.
A typical cerebral palsy treatment plan may include:
- Early intervention
- Medication to control seizures, relax muscles, or limit pain
- Surgery to ease tight muscles
- Therapy to help loosen muscles and/or learn new skills
- Orthotic devices to correct anatomical concerns and keep joints in place
- Supportive treatments
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Therapy Is Key for Limiting Cerebral Palsy-Related Impairments
Therapy plays a key role in most cerebral palsy treatment plans. This may include a treatment plan that only contains physical therapy, or it may feature a combination of physical, occupational, and speech therapies. Some common types of therapies for children with cerebral palsy include:
Physical therapy is a key component of any cerebral palsy treatment plan. Physical therapy for cerebral palsy uses methods such as massages, heat treatment, and exercise instead of drugs or surgery. A physical therapist will design exercises and activities to address a patient’s individual needs. These activities may include:
- Building muscle strength
- Increasing balance
- Improving motor skills
- Preventing contractures
- Learning to walk
- Learning to use a wheelchair, motorized wheelchair, canes, or walker
Physical therapists may also prescribe medical equipment to help improve mobility, including orthotic devices such as leg braces and gait trainers.
Occupational therapy can help those with cerebral palsy master self-care, activities of daily living, and other day-to-day tasks. Occupational therapy encourages rehabilitation through everyday activities required in daily life. When a child’s condition prevents them from managing tasks, it is their occupational therapist who will work to help them find a new way to reach the same goal that is within their abilities.
Speech therapy addresses a child’s ability to speak and use language to communicate. It also works to help a child overcome problems with eating and swallowing. Speech therapists may also help children learn to use alternative communication methods if they cannot control the muscles of their mouth and tongue.
Medical Equipment and Assistive Devices for Children with Cerebral Palsy
Prescribed medical equipment and assistive devices can help those with cerebral palsy overcome symptoms and complications. These types of equipment and devices can help children with cerebral palsy lead an easier, less painful life. Your child’s doctors or therapists may prescribe one or all of the tools listed below, depending on your child’s individual needs. Some of these devices may help your child build independence and overcome challenges associated with activities of daily living.
Some common types of medical equipment and assistive devices used by children, teens, and adults with cerebral palsy include:
- Orthotic devices to support mobility, often used in conjunction with wheelchairs, rolling walkers, gait trainers, and scooters
- Braces and splints to improve muscle contractures and function
- Orthotics to ensure the proper positioning of a joint
- Braces, wedges, and other devices to provide support while sitting
- Vision aids, eye surgery, and other treatment for vision concerns
- Hearing aids and other equipment for children who suffer hearing loss
- Computers and voice synthesizers for those who cannot talk or otherwise struggle to communicate
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Seek Legal Action Based on Your Child’s Type of Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy can be caused by medical malpractice. In some cases, you may be able to pursue compensation by holding your child’s doctor, hospital staff, or another medical care provider liable for their injury and subsequent care. An attorney in your state can help you understand if you have a viable case, your deadline to take legal action under your state’s laws, and the necessary steps to prove a medical malpractice birth injury case.
Talk to a Birth Injury Lawyer About Your Child’s Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis and Care
Treatment options for cerebral palsy are often expensive. If your attorney can help you prove that your child suffered a preventable birth injury due to the negligence of another party, you may be able to pursue compensation to cover your economic and noneconomic losses. The Birth Injury Lawyers Group can help you connect with a medical malpractice lawyer in your state today.
Call us now at (800) 222-9529 and let us pair you with an attorney and schedule a free case review.