- October 6 is marked at the World' Cerebral Palsy Day to spread awareness about the disorder
- Cerebral Palsy (CP) takes place before, during or after birth affecting muscle movements
- The primary orthopaedic conditions most affected in cerebral palsy are balance and basic motor function of the body
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a condition caused by a brain injury that takes place before, during or shortly after birth. It affects muscle tone and control, which can result in involuntary movements or abnormal walking.
The deformities are majorly caused by increased muscle tone. The primary orthopaedic conditions most affected in cerebral palsy are balance, impacted fine and gross motor function, impaired muscle tone, impaired movements, coordination and control, impaired oral motor function, etc.
Dr Rakesh Lalla of Fortis Hospital has shed light on the orthopaedic complications of cerebral palsy:
- Muscle Contracture: This condition is incurable, but it is not progressive, though living with it could mean that the patient would have repressed movement and experience excruciating pain.
- Hip Dysplasia: Deformity of the hip joint is a characteristic of Hip Dysplasia occurring in a patient with cerebral palsy
- Foot-orthopaedic health: Abnormal muscle contractions in the feet can lead to flat foot
- Scoliosis: Cerebral palsy may lead to the development of Scoliosis. Here, the back muscles are affected, rendering them inadequate to support the spine, causing curvature, giving the spine a ‘C’ or ‘S’-shaped curve. Even though cerebral palsy itself is not progressive, this is a condition that can get worse with time, if not treated
- Other concerns: A person with cerebral palsy may have one leg which is longer than the other, which could make walking difficult and uncomfortable. Torsion in the legs is another possible issue, where the legs either twist in or out, making walking difficult
Dr Pramod Bhor of Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi talked about the importance of monitoring orthopaedic health and using treatments.
“To provide the best opportunity for a full life to a person suffering with cerebral palsy, it is crucial to monitor his/her orthopaedic health. Non-invasive strategies like physical therapy help cope with the disabilities, only resorting to surgery when it is needed. Physical therapy is important because it helps the joints and bones to stay in the correct alignment and can keep things from getting any worse. Treatment mostly consists of physical therapy, injections, splints and surgical procedures to correct deformities,” said Dr Pramod Bhor.