Cerebral Palsy

Norton Children’s Neuroscience Institute, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, is the leading provider of child neurology care in Louisville, Kentucky, and Southern Indiana. Our board-certified and fellowship-trained child/pediatric neurologists and pediatric orthopedists have state-of-the-art tools and training to evaluate your child’s cerebral palsy.

Our multidisciplinary providers will develop a customized treatment plan specifically for your child.

What Is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy is a disease that makes it is difficult to control voluntary movements of the body. Children often have spasticity, or continuous contractions or stiffness of the muscles.

Cerebral palsy can happen if a baby’s brain is damaged in the womb or after birth from infection or lack of oxygen to the brain. Cerebral palsy is more common in premature babies.

Cerebral palsy may reveal itself as babies fail to roll over, sit up, crawl or walk on time. Stiffness or floppiness in babies could indicate cerebral palsy.

Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis

Our neonatologists, child/pediatric neurologists, physical therapists, pediatric neurosurgeons and pediatric orthopedists will work together to assess your child.

Team members also will review pregnancy, delivery and early childhood development histories with you to help determine risk factors for cerebral palsy.

We will assess your child’s muscle tone, strength, reflexes, coordination and movements with a complete neurologic exam. We may perform an MRI of the brain or head ultrasound to help determine the root cause.

Cerebral Palsy Treatment

With a clear assessment and deep diagnosis of your child’s condition, we will tailor a treatment plan to help your child move easier, loosen spastic muscles and encourage motor development.

Our multidisciplinary team of neurologists, pediatric orthopedists and neurosurgeons will be involved in your child’s care.

Pediatric orthopedic treatments for cerebral palsy include braces, medication to relax muscles, and casting to help stretch tendons and ligaments. Orthopedic surgery may be required to release tight tendons or ligaments (contractures), correct scoliosis or fix malformed hip joints (hip dysplasia).

Sometimes medication given by mouth is not enough to control the muscle tightness or spasticity, or the medication causes too many unwanted side effects. In those cases, a neurosurgeon can place a pump directly into the child’s spine that administers the medication. Called a baclofen pump, it needs a medication refill once or twice per year, depending on the customized dosage for your child.

In severe cases of cerebral palsy or spasticity, a child may undergo a procedure called a selective dorsal rhizotomy. During this procedure, a surgeon severs some nerve fibers that send abnormal signals to muscles, causing them to contract irregularly.

Our team of therapists and doctors will continue to follow children as they grow and develop. Though cerebral palsy is not a progressive disorder, spasticity can change as your child grows.

Learn more

Why Norton Children’s Neuroscience Institute?

  • The Norton Children’s Hospital Comprehensive Epilepsy Center is a Level 4 epilepsy center, the highest rating available from the National Association of Epilepsy Centers. Norton Children’s Hospital has held this designation since 2013.
  • We are the first in Kentucky and among the first in the nation to use neurostimulation in a pediatric patient.
  • Regional neurology care is available for children across Kentucky and Southern Indiana. We travel to clinics in Bowling Green, Campbellsville, Corbin, Elizabethtown, Frankfort, Owensboro and Paducah, Kentucky; and Evansville, Indiana. We also perform a number of telemedicine visits each week.
  • The specialists with Norton Children’s Neuroscience Institute, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, use state-of-the-art technology to treat epilepsy, uncontrollable seizures and deep brain tumors in children who, in the past, would not be candidates for surgery, including:
    • Visualase: Technology that allows neurosurgeons to perform MRI-guided laser ablation surgery. Fewer than two dozen pediatric hospitals in the U.S. offer this technology.
    • Surgical Theater: Virtual reality technology that creates an immersive 3D view of a patient’s brain, allowing neurosurgeons, the patient and family to see inside the skull and brain to get a greater understanding of the condition and impact of potential procedures. Norton Children’s Hospital is the first hospital in the region to use this technology.
  • We offer dedicated multidisciplinary clinics for brain tumors, traumatic brain injuries, spina bifida, craniofacial injuries and disorders, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, spasticity, headache/migraine, autism and neurocutaneous disorders.
  • Our multidisciplinary craniofacial program was the first established in the Midwest.
  • We offer a neurogenetics clinic to evaluate and treat children with neurogenetic syndromes.
  • We have a neuropsychology program that specializes in the evaluation of children and teens with a variety of neurological, neurodevelopmental and medical conditions, including brain tumors and epilepsy.
  • Outpatient neurology facilities in downtown Louisville are equipped with in-office electroencephalography (EEG) capabilities and laboratory services in the same building, creating a streamlined, family-centered environment.
  • We offer the region’s first clinic to treat children with immune-mediated neurological disorders.
Neuroscience

Norton Children’s Neuroscience Institute

Connect with the Norton Children’s neurology team
(502) 588-3650

Connect with the Norton Children’s neurosurgery team
(502) 583-1697

Surgeons use 3D model to prepare more precisely for teen’s complex scoliosis treatment

Gracie Latkovski is sitting up straighter and breathing easier after undergoing state-of-the-art spine surgery. Her surgeons were able to be precise in her complex surgery by preparing with the help of a 3D printed replica […]

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Girl won’t let cerebral palsy hold her back

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New interactive technology makes physical therapy feel like a virtual reality game

Caleb McKenzie has been getting physical therapy for cerebral palsy since he was about 9 months old. Now 4, Caleb goes to therapy four times a week to master walking. “It is something the rest […]

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Cerebral palsy no match for this soccer phenom

It is a hot July day in Bardstown, Kentucky, and Carter Alvey is working up a sweat on the Bethlehem High School soccer field. Of course, Carter, a senior goalie, has always had to work […]

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Surgeons use 3D model to prepare more precisely for teen’s complex scoliosis treatment

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