Spastic Cerebral Palsy
Information From Our Chicago Cerebral Palsy Lawyers
Spastic cerebral palsy can be caused by damage to the brain’s motor cortex during birth. One in 500 babies is diagnosed with cerebral palsy, and approximately 80% of cerebral palsy cases are spastic. Many of those cases were preventable. Spastic cerebral palsy affects muscle control. Individuals with this type of cerebral palsy have spastic muscles and have difficulty moving without appearing stiff or halted. Spasticity is the result of abnormally increased muscle tone, or “hypertonia,” which makes certain movements difficult, if not completely impossible. This stiffness occurs when damaged portions of the person’s brain send signals incorrectly to the muscles.
Assessing Spasticity in Infants and Children
In infants and young children, spasticity is often assessed through observation, such as watching the child’s movement. A doctor may complete a full observation by examining the child’s joints and trying to elicit a quick muscle response to measure the child’s response time.
A thorough assessment will determine:
- The extent of the child’s muscle control
- The overall severity of the spasticity
- Which muscles the spasticity affects
- How spasticity will influence the child’s ability to perform tasks
What Causes Spastic Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy can be caused by events before, during, or after the birth including from a lack of oxygen and blood flow. Many cases of cerebral palsy are preventable if the cause is a lack of oxygen during labor, and if it is treated by a timely cesarean section before the brain is permanently injured.
Spastic Cerebral Palsy Caused by Doctor or Hospital Negligence
Cerebral palsy is one of the most severe forms of birth injury. In the context of medical negligence, oxygen deprivation during labor and delivery is a major contributor to cerebral palsy in newborns. If a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional is responsible for your child’s injury, you have the right to seek compensation through a birth injury lawsuit.