Cerebral palsy involves a group of disorders that affects the movement, muscle tone or posture. These disorders appear in early childhood and symptoms appear gradually over time, these symptoms include experiencing unusual activities regarding breathing, vision, swallowing etc. Oladoc invited Dr. Iqbal to talk about cerebral treatment.
Dr. Mazhar Iqbal Chaudhry is an orthopedic surgeon in Lahore, who practices at Orthopedic Medical Complex (OMC). In this session with oladoc, he discusses a crucial health issue, mostly visible in children i.e cerebral palsy.
Q.1: What is cerebral palsy?
Cerebral palsy relates to a variety of physical disabilities produced as a result of injury to the brain. This can occur in pre-natal, perinatal and postnatal stages of a child’s life, initial 2-3 years of the baby’s life determine cerebral palsy, during this stage any injury, trauma or disease which affects the brain can cause cerebral palsy.
As a result of these complications, the child suffer from different kinds of disabilities, for example, monoplegia condition affects only one hand, hemiplegic, affects one side of the body, diplegic makes both legs extremely weak and paraplegic, this is an extreme case where the child is unable to support his/her body.
Q.2: What are the causes of cerebral palsy?
Cerebral palsy can occur during the prenatal gestation period in the womb due to neuromuscular inherited diseases, or if the mother is alcoholic, and also in cases of placental rupture. This condition can also develop in the perinatal phase, from birth to the initial first few weeks due to difficult labour, cord around the neck or any other trauma. Postnatal cause includes accidents and traumas of any sort.
Q.3: What are the signs of cerebral palsy in a baby?
These children do not develop at a normal late, all their development milestones, for example, eye coordination or being able to respond to sounds is late. All movements of the baby are late, the signs depend on the extent of brain damage.
Q.4: Can a child with cerebral palsy live a normal life?
Yes, orthopedic surgeons work to perform rehabilitative surgeries that help counter the disability. The aim is to correct the deformities, and the joints, muscles and bones affected by this condition. The non-working muscles are replaced from working ones within the body, joint fusion is performed to stabilize the joints.
Physiotherapy is done and the child is provided with supportive braces. These treatments enable the child to lead a normal life.
Q.5: At what age do children get diagnosed with cerebral palsy?
Unfortunately in Pakistan, there is an unwariness of this condition. Patients are usually brought to orthopedic surgeons at a later advanced stage because most mothers initially only consult a pediatrician.
If at any stage the child shows signs of slow development, a specialist should be consulted. A timely diagnosis results in a much higher success rate of rehabilitative treatments. That is paramount in cerebral palsy treatment.
Therefore, it is advised to visit an orthopedic surgeon as soon as possible.
If you want to learn more about cerebral palsy treatment, you can watch the full video.