Spasticity and Cerebral Palsy

CP is caused by damage to part of the brain that controls movement, balance and posture. CP is the most common movement disorder in children.

Damage may occur during pregnancy, child birth or shortly after birth. Often the cause of the damage is unknown.

There is no known cure for Cerebral Palsy, however, supportive treatments, medications and surgery helps many patients.

Up to 90% of CP patients will demonstrate spasticity which may lead to joint deformities and contractures and spinal scoliosis.

Evaluation

Our spasticity clinic will evaluate patients as early as possible to minimize contractures and spasticity and prescribe a treatment plan to improve function.

Our evaluation will include a functional assessment by physical therapists , occupational therapists and speech and language therapists.

Orthotists will evaluate patients for bracing and wheel chair needs.

Following the comprehensive evaluation a team meeting will be held with a physician specialist in rehabilitation and spasticity to establish a treatment plan.

Patients with joint contractures or spinal scoliosis will be scheduled for a consultation in the clinic by pediatric orthopedist physician or spine surgeon.

Treatments

To reduce spasticity oral medications will first be used, but, if they are not effective, then intrathecal ( intra-spinal) baclofen will be used if an initial trial demonstrates a good response.

Reports are generated to the patient’s pediatrician, pediatric neurologist or other health care providers participating in the patient’s care.

A team of physician and nurse familiar with management and complications of intrathecal baclofen is available 24/7 for any emergency.

All the services are provided in one location on the campus of St. Mary”s Medical Center in West Palm Beach.

Did you know that 3 to 6 infant births per 1,000 will have CP and that 90% will demonstrate various degree of spasticity?