Low Muscle Tone (Hypotonia)
Norton Children’s is the foremost provider of neurology care in 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 skill and experience with hypotonia to know whether your child needs treatment or whether the condition will rectify itself 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 — low muscle tone or floppiness — could be a temporary condition or a congenital issue involving the central nervous system or muscles.
After a neurologic exam to evaluate low muscle tone, our neurology providers may need to conduct additional tests that could include an evaluation of how your child metabolizes sugars, fats and proteins. We also may need to perform an MRI to examine your child’s brain and/or spinal cord. Genetic testing also may be helpful.
Some procedures such as MRI can be scary for children, and we can provide sedation.
In some cases, we may need to measure the electrical activity of nerves and electromyography (EMG) to measure the electrical activity of muscles. 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 problems. They may require visits with Norton Children’s Orthopedics of Louisville — the only pediatric orthopedic practice in the area — for scoliosis, hip dysplasia or hip dislocations. They also may need walking aids. Through your child’s course, our physical medicine and rehabilitation team helps ensure that he or she has the equipment needed to thrive.
Meet the team
Debra M. O’Donnell, M.D.
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