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Cerebral Palsy (cont.)

What Are Cerebral Palsy Surgeries?

Operations used in the treatment of cerebral palsy include the following.

  • Dorsal rhizotomy: In this procedure, a few specific nerves are cut at their roots where they branch off the spinal cord. In certain individuals with cerebral palsy, this works very well to reduce spasticity and improve the ability to sit, stand, and walk.
  • Implantation of a baclofen pump: The muscle relaxant drug baclofen can be very helpful in reducing spasticity in some people with cerebral palsy, but it works best when it is given continuously. A tiny pump can be placed in the abdominal wall to deliver a continuous dose to the spastic muscles of the limbs.
  • Stereotactic surgery to a part of the brain that controls muscle tone and movement may improve rigidity, athetosis, and tremor.
  • Reconstructive surgery to an arm can restore muscle balance, release contractures, and stabilize joints. This can improve placement of the hand in space and the important ability to grasp, release, and pinch.
  • Skeletal problems such as hip dislocation and scoliosis can be corrected with surgery.
  • Severe spasticity can be corrected with a number of surgical procedures, including tenotomy, a tendon-lengthening procedure.
  • Surgical operations for intractable epileptic seizures: These procedures are now well-accepted. There is enough experience in the Epilepsy Centers that surgery, in selected cases, may be an excellent option.
  • Vagal nerve stimulation (VNS) incorporates an implantable device that stimulates the vagal nerve in the neck. This method has been used with some success in epileptic disorders that are refractory to antiepileptic medications.

Other Therapy for Cerebral Palsy

Patient Comments

Many children with cerebral palsy develop emotional problems, behavior problems, or both. They can benefit from sessions with a psychologist or counselor.

Personal computers and related technologies offer wonderful opportunities for communication, social interaction, education, entertainment, and employment for people with cerebral palsy.

Cerebral Palsy Follow-up

The overall goal for ongoing care of individuals with CP is to help them reach their full physical, mental, and emotional potential. Generally, this includes living as much as possible in the mainstream of their society and culture. People with CP tend to be happiest and most productive when they can go to school with, live with, and work with their peers.

Children with CP require regular sessions with their physical, occupational, and speech/language therapists, as well as frequent checkups with their medical and surgical teams. The exact schedule of visits is determined by the severity of the child's condition and his or her response to treatment. A multidisciplinary CP clinic allows for frequent and complete care with the minimum of inconvenience.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/16/2016
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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Cerebral Palsy:

Cerebral Palsy - Symptoms

What symptoms did your child experience with cerebral palsy?

Cerebral Palsy - Patient Experience

How has cerebral palsy impacted your life? How have you overcome it?

Cerebral Palsy - Treatment

What treatments have you found most helpful for cerebral palsy?

Cerebral Palsy - Other Therapy

Have you benefited from a psychologist or counselor for your cerebral palsy? Please describe your experience.


Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Cerebral Palsy »

The term cerebral palsy (CP) was originally coined more than a century ago and loosely translates as "brain paralysis."

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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