How infant cerebral palsy manifests

Written by: Dr.Prof. Pedro Gutiérrez Carbonell
Edited by: Top Doctors®

The doctor. Carbonell is a specialist in Child Traumatology of Alicante and professor of this same specialty at the Miguel Hernández University in Elche. This article explains how cerebral palsy is treated in children from the traumatological point of view.


Cerebral palsy is an affectation of the brain that causes important motor alterations in some parts or in all the body. Basically there are 3 types of infantile cerebral palsy:

- Hemiplegia: half body is affected (one leg and one arm).

- Diplegia: Both lower extremities and to a lesser degree some of the upper extremities are affected.

- Tetraplegia: the 4 upper and lower extremities are affected.

Symptoms of cerebral palsy

The most frequent are an alteration of the strength of the muscles, which are permanently contracted, and an alteration of the muscle reflexes. In this way it is impossible to stand, due to imbalance and deformities in the lower extremities and even, sometimes, it is difficult to sit in a wheelchair.

This causes affectation of the spine, hips, knees and feet. In upper extremities cause dysfunction of the fingers when holding objects, wrist in position of flexion and forearm in excessive pronation.

Causes of cerebral palsy

The cause in more than 2/3 of patients is prematurity and low weight (less than 2500 mgrs. at birth). The rest may be due to fetal erythroblastosis (Rh incompatibility between the parents), cytomegalovirus, rubella, toxoplasmosis and hereditary.


Cerebral palsy must have an individualized treatment for each patient


Predisposition to suffer cerebral palsy

There is a predisposition when there are risk factors in childbirth: abnormal presentation of the fetus, low weight, virus infection during pregnancy in the mother, and so on.

Treatment of cerebral palsy

To begin with, a complete initial orthopedic clinical assessment is necessary and every six months for evolution of deformities: equinus of the feet, dislocation of the hip, scoliosis, etc.. In addition, patients who have suffered from paralysis benefit from orthopedic aids such as walking sticks, walkers, orthopedic chairs, standing frames and antiequine devices depending on the degree of involvement.

In some cases, surgery will be used on parts of the body such as:

- Hips: to avoid complete dislocation of the same and the inability to walk.

- Knees: the rigid knee flexo makes it impossible to get to stand, help with canes or be in a wheelchair.

- Feet: the equinus and the deformities in rigid plane (in diplegia) or cavus (hemiplegia) are the deformities that frequently require surgery.

- Forearm pronation: transposition of tendons to improve this invalidating position.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Dr.Prof. Pedro Gutiérrez Carbonell
Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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