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What is spastic cerebral palsy?

Found in the majority of cerebral palsy cases (>70%), spastic cerebral palsy is believed to be due to damage in the outer layer of the brain referred to as the cerebral cortex which disrupts the path of communication from the brain to the muscles.

Rigidity

The spasticity of the muscles, usually results in rigid and jerky movements because muscles are contracting at the same time. Consequently, children with spastic cerebral palsy may have difficulty with basic movements and may suffer from extreme fatigue.

Contractures and stunted growth

In children, the symptoms of spastic cerebral palsy are usually not apparent at birth.  Rather, the symptoms begin to manifest over time.  Identifying the early symptoms of spastic cerebral palsy is important in order to implement the most effective plan of care— and maintain mobility.  Without medical intervention, children with spastic cerebral palsy are at risk for stunted growth and contractures.

Treatments

In addition to physical and occupational therapy, other medical treatment may be warranted including anti-anxiety medications, botox injections or surgery to release muscles that have become constricted due to spasticty.

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