Cerebral palsy is a neurological condition that permanently affects muscle function and fine motor skills and often involves cognitive and linguistic impairments and developmental delays. Causes include birth injuries, genetic factors, infections, brain injury, Reye’s syndrome and toxic chemical exposure. While no cure exists, the symptoms are treatable. If medical malpractice caused your son or daughter to develop cerebral palsy, you may be entitled to compensation for your child’s ongoing treatment and care. An experienced Washington, D.C. injury attorney can help your family get the justice it deserves.
Children with cerebral palsy may suffer from seizures, for which a doctor will usually prescribe an anticonvulsant medication, and they might require muscle relaxants or other medications as well. Children may also benefit from physical therapy to help stretch and strengthen muscles and to improve coordination, as well as from occupational therapy, which helps children with disabilities learn to complete daily activities and achieve a greater sense of independence. Some children may be fitted with orthotic braces, splints or casts to correct muscle abnormalities, while others may need a wheelchair or walker to help them get around. In some cases, orthopedic surgery may be necessary to relieve extremely stiff muscles, to strengthen lose muscles, or to treat complications such as spinal curvature or uneven leg growth. Speech therapy can help children overcome linguistic impairments, while special education can address learning and behavioral issues.
Children with cerebral palsy may also benefit from alternative therapies. Acupuncture, for example, can be an effective tool for reducing pain and improving strength and flexibility. While studies into the use of acupuncture as a cerebral palsy treatment are limited, in one study involving the review of 35 randomized clinical trials, researchers determined that acupuncture has the potential to improve a child’s gross motor function, verbal function, social behavior adaptation, ability to perform daily living activities and overall independence. Botox injections are also gaining credibility as an alternative cerebral palsy treatment. Some doctors use small doses of Botox to relax stiff muscles, which aids physical therapists in stretching the muscles to stimulate natural growth and development. Botox can also improve a child’s range of motion, help a child reach developmental milestones and make orthotic braces more comfortable to wear.
Cerebral palsy treatment typically involves a combination of therapies and depends on the nature and severity of one’s condition. If your child has cerebral palsy, contact a qualified Washington, D.C. injury lawyer today to learn about your family’s legal rights.