Low Muscle Tone (Hypotonia)

The board-certified and fellowship-trained neurologists with Norton Children’s Neuroscience Institute, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, is the leading provider of neurology care for children from Louisville, Kentucky, and Southern Indiana. Our board-certified and fellowship-trained neurologists have state-of-the-art tools and training to evaluate your child’s condition. They have the skills and experience diagnosing and treating hypotonia to know whether your child needs treatment or the condition will resolve as your child grows.

A precise diagnosis guides a customized plan for your child that minimizes risk of side effects, so your child can get back to being a kid.

Hypotonia — also called low muscle tone or floppiness — could be a temporary condition or a congenital issue involving the central nervous system or muscles.

Hypotonia Diagnosis

After a neurological exam to evaluate low muscle tone, our neurology providers may conduct additional tests that could include an evaluation of how your child metabolizes sugars, fats and proteins. We also may perform an MRI to examine your child’s brain and/or spinal cord. Genetic testing also may be helpful.

Some tests, such as MRI, can be scary for children, and we can provide sedation if needed.

In some cases, we may need to measure the electrical activity of nerves and muscles using electromyography (EMG). We also may need to remove a small amount of muscle tissue for testing.

Capturing a precise diagnosis helps our neurologists map out a plan that could include working with our team’s physical therapists and occupational therapists to help build muscle tone and strength. If necessary, we also provide speech therapy.

In some children, low muscle tone can lead to musculoskeletal issues. They may require visits with Norton Children’s Orthopedics of Louisville — the only pediatric orthopedic practice in the area — for care of scoliosis, hip dysplasia or hip dislocation, or for walking aids. Throughout your child’s treatment, our physical medicine and rehabilitation team helps ensure your child has everything they need to thrive.

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


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Neurosurgery Team

(502) 583-1697

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