Articles Posted in Cerebral Palsy Injuries

baby-hand-300x174Erb’s palsy is a condition linked to nerve injury during childbirth. When the upper nerves of the neck are injured during birth, it gives rise to this terrible condition.

Erb’s palsy is typically caused when the baby’s head and neck are stretched and pulled to the side, during a delivery. When the nerves are stretched, the resulting injuries can cause weakness in the nerves which are responsible for allowing the baby to move arms, and shoulder muscles. An injury to these nerves will reduce feeling or movement in the shoulders, arms and hands. A child who has Erb’s palsy may be unable to move the shoulders, reach his arm up above his head, and perform other activities that should be easy as he grows older.

The doctor or pediatrician will conduct tests in order to determine whether your child has suffered Erb’s palsy. These tests could include x-rays, and even nerve tests. The pediatrician will check the baby’s response to the Moro reflex test, which is an involuntary response to any kind of stimulation. If all of these studies and tests determine that an injury has taken place, the doctor will monitor your child over a period of the next few months or even years, to determine if the nerves that have been injured have begun to recover. Remember, that most children who have suffered Erb’s palsy will recover on their own, although the recovery may take as long as two years.

WheelchairChildren who suffer from cerebral palsy have impaired motor movements, and many of these children are put through invasive surgeries to help deal with those impairments. The surgeries aim at strengthening and lengthening the tendons, and moving muscles to help the child improve their physical capabilities. However, the success rate for these surgeries is only about 50%, which means that a vast number of children who undergo the procedures simply do not see the promised benefits.

That could soon change, however.

Researchers have developed a new assessment tool that will help determine if a child with cerebral palsy is an ideal candidate for invasive surgeries. The assessment tool was developed by researchers at the University Of Washington Department of Mechanical Engineering, and the quantitative tool is called Walk-DMC.

wheelchair 085There is no complete cure for cerebral palsy. The condition is irreversible and often devastating.  However, modern medicine has contributed to the development of therapies and medical practices that can reduce the severity of  the symptoms of cerebral palsy.

Treatment for cerebral palsy is often designed simply to improve the capabilities of the child who suffers the brain injury. A child with cerebral palsy is at risk of a number of cognitive, physical and mental disabilities, but there are ways that you can manage the disability, and encourage the child to enjoy normal experiences.

Treatment must begin as quickly as possible in order to best manage these disabilities. Once your child has received a diagnosis, a team of doctors must work together to fully identify all the impairments that he faces. With the wide variety of possible impairments, it isn’t surprising that there isn’t one treatment regimen that is recommended for cerebral palsy.  Doctors must design an appropriate treatment plan that will manage the unique combination of disabilities that the child faces.

Cerebral palsy baby shoeThe birth of a new baby is one of the most joyful moments in a family’s life.  Fathers count all the toes.  A mother holds her child after carrying the baby for nine months.  This is the perfect baby.

But for some, the dream delivery turns into a harsh reality when there are complications and difficulties.  The baby is rushed to the NICU because the labor took too long, the baby is breathing strangely, or some unknown concern is written across the doctor’s face.

For some families, the baby suffers no obvious problems and is soon sent home.  It is only months, even years later when the family begins to notice subtle differences between their child and all the rest on the playground.

In fact, most of the symptoms of cerebral palsy do not surface until the child is at least a few months old. That may make it more challenging for parents to tie the symptoms to the injuries that occurred at birth.  A parent can expect most of the symptoms of cerebral palsy to begin before the child reaches the age of three. Often, developmental delays and failure to reach basic milestones are the first signs that something is not entirely right.

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Baby BedsThere is nothing more traumatizing than being told your newborn baby has an injury.  One of the most troubling diagnoses a parent can hear is that their child may have cerebral palsy.

The term cerebral palsy refers to a condition that is typically a result of a birth injury, either while the child is still in the womb or during the birthing process.  In a majority of the cases, cerebral palsy is caused by a maternal infection during pregnancy. There are a number of infections that could cause cerebral palsy. These include German measles, also known as rubella, and toxoplasmosis, an infection that is caused by eating improperly cooked meat, or spread by a pathogen found in cat feces.

Maternal health complications can also cause cerebral palsy. For example, if there is Rh incompatibility between the mother and infant, the body of the mother actually produces antibodies that harm the blood cells of the fetus. In a case like this, the newborn baby may suffer from a severe form of jaundice, and this could cause brain damage.

Newborn jaundice is a fairly common condition, but in its severe and untreated form may cause serious damage to brain cells, and one of the consequences of that damage is sometimes cerebral palsy.

However, birth injury is a factor in approximately a quarter of all cases of cerebral palsy.

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880737_86187705.jpgCerebral palsy takes a substantial emotional toll not just on the children who suffer from this condition, but also their families. A new study conducted by Canadian researchers illustrates this often devastating toll.

The study, the first into the impact of the condition on families of school age children, was conducted by researchers from the School of Physical and Occupational Therapy at McGill University in Montréal. They were specifically looking at the effect of cerebral palsy on the families of school-age children suffering from the condition. The researchers surveyed parents of 95 children aged between six and 12 years, and suffering from cerebral palsy. As they evaluated the questionnaires, the researchers found that 45% of the parents described themselves as being “highly stressed,” while 11% describe themselves as being “defensive.” Approximately 50% of the patients said that their children’s cerebral palsy had adversely affected their time, emotional condition, and family activities. However, the families confirmed that the children’s illness had not disturbed the cohesion of the family as a unit.
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