Norton Children’s is the foremost provider of neurology care in Louisville, Kentucky and Southern Indiana. Our board-certified and fellowship-trained neurologists and pediatric orthopedists have state-of-the-art tools and training to evaluate your child’s cerebral palsy.
Our multidisciplinary team will develop a customized treatment plan for your child.
Pediatric orthopedists on our multidisciplinary team will also work with your child.
Cerebral palsy results in difficulty controlling voluntary movements of the body. Children often have spasticity, or continuous contraction or stiffness of the muscles.
Cerebral palsy causes include damage to the brain in the womb, brain injury after birth from infection and 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.
Our neonatologists, neurologists, physical therapists, neurosurgeons, and pediatric orthopedists 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 or head ultrasound to capture images of your child’s brain 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.
The baclofen pump 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.