You want to spare your child all possible pain and suffering, and you are eager to avoid the risks of surgery. At some point, however, your child may suffer more pain and physical limitations without surgery, and you may need to consider surgical options to treat your child’s cerebral palsy.
Possible Cerebral Palsy Surgeries
Depending on your child’s specific type of cerebral palsy and individual needs, surgeries could include one or more of the following:
- Orthopedic surgery. While orthopedic surgery can’t cure cerebral palsy, a wide variety of operations may help lessen or control cerebral palsy symptoms. Orthopedic surgery could, for example, help improve a child’s fine or gross motor skills, ability to move independently, balance, or coordination. Orthopedic surgeons may relieve spasticity, straighten spines, reduce tremors, or perform other surgeries to help a child with cerebral palsy. Specific orthopedic surgeries include muscle lengthening, tendon lengthening, tendon transfer, cutting tendons, cutting muscles, fusing bones, and treating bone deformities.
- Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR). SDR is a form of orthopedic surgery that helps provide relief to children who have spasticity in their lower limbs. Spasticity can cause children to suffer pain and stiffness. The surgery severs individual nerve roots to prevent the nerve from sending spasticity messages to the brain and thereby, reduces spasticity. SDR is performed under general anesthesia and requires a hospital stay.
- Vision correction surgery. Cerebral palsy can cause various eye conditions that interfere with vision. Eyeglasses may correct many vision issues, but if glasses don’t work, eye surgery may be an option.
- Hearing correction surgery. Children with cerebral palsy may experience hearing loss. A surgery known as a stapedectomy may restore hearing if other less invasive procedures such as hearing aids don’t work.
- Gastrointestinal surgery. Cerebral palsy may affect the gastrointestinal system and cause problems such as GERD, constipation, drooling, malnourishment, and pulmonary aspiration. Depending on your child’s specific digestive issue and its severity, a doctor may recommend surgery such as inserting a feeding tube to prevent malnourishment, submandibular duct relocation to reduce drooling, or fundoplication to address GERD.
- Neurosurgery. Various brain or spinal surgeries could help alleviate cerebral palsy pain when other interventions have failed. For example, a baclofen pump may be implanted in your child’s abdomen and connected to your child’s spinal cord to deliver medicine.
Often, non-surgical treatments for cerebral palsy are tried before surgery. Therefore, surgery may not become necessary until your child gets older. Your child’s doctor will review the benefits and risks of any possible surgery with you and recommend surgery if and when the time is right.
How to Plan for Possible Cerebral Palsy Operations
Right now, you don’t know what surgeries, if any, your child may need one day. However, his doctors and other medical experts may be able to predict what operations are likely to happen so that you can account for the costs in a cerebral palsy lawsuit.
What you can’t do is wait to file a lawsuit. Even though you might not know all of your child’s future expenses, the Kentucky statute of limitations usually requires you to file a lawsuit within one year of your child’s cerebral palsy diagnosis. If you file his claim after the statute of limitations has expired, the defendant will file a motion to dismiss with the court. When the court grants that motion, your case will be dismissed, and your child won’t be able to recover any compensation.
For this reason, you can’t wait until a doctor recommends surgery to seek financial compensation for a child with cerebral palsy. Instead, we encourage you to contact our experienced Kentucky cerebral palsy birth injury attorneys today for a free and confidential consultation. We will review your claim, advise you of your child’s rights, and fight hard to get your child a full recovery if your child suffers cerebral palsy because of medical negligence. Call us today, or reach out to us through this website, to learn more.