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Spastic Types of Cerebral Palsy

Posted by on Aug 12, 2014 in Health | 1 comment

Cerebral palsy (CP) is one of the most common developmental disorders that usually develop in children. This can be due to genetic predisposition, birth injury, maternal disease, head injuries, or infections affecting the brain. CP is a complex condition that varies from patient to patient and it is a life-long condition; it cannot be cured, but it can be managed. The types of cerebral palsy are spastic, athetoid, and ataxic, but the one that most commonly occurs is spastic CP which affects at least 70% of all CP cases.

People with spastic CP, which is also called bilateral spasticity, experience muscle tightness (hypertonic) in certain groups of muscles in excess of what an individual with normal muscle development will experience. The muscles are always contracting, which can eventually lead to abnormal postures and movement. This is thought to be due to a lesion in the upper motor neurons of the brain, and perhaps the motor cortex. CP is classified as neuromuscular mobility impairment, although some experience co-morbid language and cognitive impairment.

There are different types of spastic CP:

  • Spastic Hemiplegia – one-sided; may manifest as a limp but otherwise does not significantly affect mobility
  • Spastic Diplegia – affecting the legs only; affects up to 80% of all spastic CP cases; may manifest as a scissor-like gait; severe cases may require assistive devices for mobility, such as walkers; many also present with strabismus
  • Spastic Monoplegia – affects only one limb
  • Spastic Triplegia – affects 3 limbs
  • Spastic Quadriplegia – affects all four limbs and severely restricts mobility

A person diagnosed with spastic CP may lead a normal life, especially with the proper care and treatment during the early stages of the disorder. However, the degree of independence depends on the severity and type of spastic CP.

Regardless of the type and severity of CP, the long-term consequences can include significant physical, emotional, social, intellectual, and psychological issues. If your child’s CP was caused by the negligence of a physician or other third party, you may be able to get compensation for your child.

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