Cervical dystonia can be considered a disability. It can physically limit your ability to perform certain tasks. It can also cause pain and impair the body’s ability to move.
When cervical dystonia is present at birth, it may require extensive treatment and ongoing management throughout your child’s life. There may be other indirect consequences of this disability that your child may have to deal with during early childhood and adolescence.
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Effects of Cervical Dystonia
Cervical dystonia can range from mild to severe. The neck may experience different kinds of spasms throughout the day. These symptoms may last for life and be difficult to manage and adjust to.
Depending on the severity of the injury, cervical dystonia may present as your child moving their head side to side as if they are gesturing the word “no.” The head may also be jerk backward, forward, and tilt awkwardly.
Direct and indirect effects of cervical dystonia may include:
- Chronic pain in the neck and shoulders
- Limited mobility in the shoulders, neck, and head
- Emotional distress
When these effects are present, cervical dystonia may be considered a disability. The type and severity of symptoms a child experiences with cervical dystonia may change as they grow older.
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Getting Help for Cervical Dystonia
Cervical dystonia is often a permanent injury. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), roughly 10% of people diagnosed with cervical dystonia may improve for a period of time, but it may not last.
There is no cure for cervical dystonia, but there are ways you can manage it so that the condition. Treatment may focus on remedies for pain and therapies to improve ability and independence.
A doctor may recommend ongoing physical therapy for children with cervical dystonia. Surgery may be another viable option. This may involve cutting the nerves that are in control of the affected muscles. Deep brain stimulation may be another invasive treatment option that sends small electrical shocks to the affected nerves from electrodes implanted near the base of the brain.
Muscle relaxation medication may also be used to treat cervical dystonia. This may include injections or pain medications. Ultimately, your doctor will help you determine what forms of treatments may be best for your child’s cervical dystonia.
When Cervical Dystonia Occurs at Birth
Some cases of cervical dystonia are impossible to prevent, such as those with hereditary causes. Other times, cervical dystonia can occur at birth if an injury to the neck or shoulders happens during labor. Such injury may indicate that your doctor breached their standard duty of care. If a doctor’s negligence caused your child to develop cervical dystonia, they may be liable to your family in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
This may have occurred if your doctor:
- Failed to detect and treat a prenatal condition that caused or contributed to cervical dystonia
- Did not take appropriate precautions to prevent a difficult labor or plan for a safer delivery alternative such as a C-section
- Directly injured your child with excessive force, either manually or with forceps or a vacuum extraction device
These are not the only forms of negligence that can give rise to a birth injury lawsuit. The negligent actions of a nurse, pharmacist, or hospital administrator may also be relevant in this type of case.
A successful medical malpractice lawsuit may allow your family to recover compensation for damages such as:
- All costs of medical treatment
- The estimated future costs of medical care
- Lost wages for either parent who must stop working to care for the child
- Pain and suffering
- And more
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Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group for a Free Consultation
The Birth Injury Lawyers Group represents families nationwide in medical malpractice lawsuits related to cervical dystonia and other birth injuries. If a negligent doctor harmed your child, we can help you file an insurance claim or lawsuit against the responsible party. During this process, our firm can handle all communications and legal work on your behalf, so you can dedicate your time and energy to your child’s wellbeing.
Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today at (800) 222-9529 for a free consultation on your case with a member of our team. We may be able to take your case on a contingency-fee basis where you do not pay us attorney fees unless and until you recover compensation in a settlement offer or court award.