Surgery for Cerebral Palsy and other Birth Disorders

Surgery

Why Choose Surgery?

You have a few different reasons that you might choose surgery for children with CP. It can improve posture, mobility, and healthy growth. Because all surgery comes with its share of risks, most doctors won’t recommend surgery right off the bat. Before they choose this route, they will often first try physical therapy or medication for your child, because the risks are often lower.

Through surgery for children with cerebral palsy, the child can improve the alignment in his feet, hips, ankles, legs, wrists, or arms.

What Does a Surgery Entail?

Most often, when the doctor performs surgery for a child with CP, he will operate on nerves, tendons, bones, or muscles. Like with the treatment of all forms of CP, the highest goal will always be to give the child the highest chance of independence. While movement problems have the chance of improving, you also have the risk that they could get worse over time. Surgery can help to lower the risk and make it more manageable.

Some potential benefits of surgery include:

  • Relieve pain
  • Reduce tumors
  • Prevent spinal deformity
  • Prevent hip deformity
  • Correct foot deformities

When a doctor chooses to do surgery for cerebral palsy, he most often does this with the purpose of preventing future complications and making it more manageable for the patient.

What Causes CP?

Most often CP happens as a result of a birth disorder. Abnormal development of the brain, brain hemorrhage, or a lack of oxygen to the brain could all contribute to a person developing CP. Normally, this damage happens a little before birth or a little after birth. Most of the children who have CP will be born with what is known as congenital CP. In some cases, however, this will go undiagnosed for months or even years later before the doctors will catch it.

Can You Prevent CP?

Unfortunately, you don’t have any way to prevent this disease. However, there are some risk factors that you can try to avoid.  For example, you can practice safety techniques to prevent acquired CP.

Before you consider surgery for a birth disorder, it is essential to first understand the risks associated with it.  Any surgery has its share of risks. A birth injury can strike anyone, and it is important to be alert to some of these dangers. In some cases, the risks may outweigh the rewards of surgery, and you may be better off avoiding surgery for your child.

Orthopedic Surgery

In general, doctors try to do other things first before they decide on surgery because of how all surgeries come with their own set of risks. Orthopedic surgery has been known to treat several of the conditions that arise as a result of cerebral palsy. Some will address muscle stiffness and spasticity. Symptoms like this have become some of the most common that you can encounter. Typically, with surgery, children will notice an improved range of motion and improved fine motor skills.

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Expert

Elena Amato Borrelli, Expert

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