Will my child need surgery if he or she has cerebral palsy from a birth injury?

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child with cerebral palsy in physical therapyIf your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy due to a birth injury, this doesn’t necessarily mean surgery will be required. Every child with cerebral palsy is different, which means some children will not require surgery at all. Surgery is only recommended when the benefits outweigh the potential risks.

Types of Surgery Associated with Cerebral Palsy

Physical therapy, medication, and assistive devices are the most popular treatments for cerebral palsy because they are the least invasive. Surgery is only recommended when a child is suffering from specific impairments such as muscle spasticity, tremors, or contracture that can’t be adequately controlled with other methods.

Surgery for cerebral palsy may include:

  • Orthopedic surgery. Surgery on the lower extremities is more common than surgery on the arms. This is because surgery on the legs offers the greatest possible improvement in mobility.
  • Gastroenterology surgery. Children with cerebral palsy may need a feeding tube or surgery to address incontinence.
  • Medicine-related surgery. In cases of chronic pain, a pump can be implanted to deliver continual doses of pain-relieving medication.
  • Neurosurgery. Sensory nerves can sometimes be cut to reduce spasticity in children with cerebral palsy.
  • Vision correction. When eyeglasses or contacts don’t suffice, surgery might be able to restore some of a child’s vision.
  • Hearing correction. Cochlear implants or implantable hearing aids may be considered for children with serious hearing loss.

Early intervention is typically recommended because it reduces secondary complications and improves a child’s quality of life. However, some surgeries that are performed too early may require children to undergo a second operation when they are finished growing. A surgery schedule should consider the child’s age, growth, and development as well as the ability of parents and other caregivers to provide the necessary support during the recovery process.

We Can Help You Get the Compensation You Need

Cerebral palsy is a condition requiring lifetime care. If your child’s condition is the result of a birth injury, a medical malpractice claim may help you obtain the compensation you need to make sure your child can reach his or her full potential. Contact us today to learn more.

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