Fighting for justice for your family
Among the most common - and most serious - birth injuries we deal with at Villari, Brandes & Giannone, P.C., cerebral palsy (CP) is a medical condition that affects a child's muscle control. The term "cerebral" refers to anything in the head, while "palsy" refers to anything wrong with control of the muscles or joints in the body. If a child has cerebral palsy, it means the child's brain is not able to properly control certain muscles in the body.
Depending on the location and severity of the brain injury, the muscle tone may be too tight, too loose, or a combination of too tight and loose. Muscle tone is what lets us keep our bodies in a certain position, like sitting with our heads up to look at the teacher in class. Changes in muscle tone let us move.
Children who have cerebral palsy may not be able to walk, talk, eat, or play the same way as other children. For example, in order to touch your nose, the tone in the muscles used to make that movement must change in a very precise way. Children with CP are not able to change their muscle tone in a smooth, even way. As a result, their movements may be jerky or wobbly, or not occur at all. Specific types of cerebral palsy include:
Spastic Cerebral Palsy
If muscle tone is too high or too tight, the term spastic is used to describe this type of cerebral palsy. Children with spastic CP have stiff and jerky movements because their muscles are too tight. This is the most common type of CP. About half of children with CP from a birth injury have spastic CP.
Ataxic Cerebral Palsy
Ataxic CP describes children with low muscle tone and poor coordination of movements. This rare form affects a child's sense of balance and depth perception. Children who have ataxic CP look very unsteady and shaky, with a tremor you might see in a very old person. It is difficult for children with ataxic CP to write.
Athetoid (Dyskinetic) Cerebral Palsy
This type of cerebral palsy refers to mixed muscle tone, which is sometimes too high and sometimes too low. Children with athetoid CP have trouble holding themselves in an upright, steady position for sitting or walking. They often have many random, involuntary movements in their face, arms, and upper body. About 20 percent of all children with CP have athetoid CP. The movements often increase during periods of emotional stress and disappear during sleep.
Mixed Cerebral Palsy
When muscle tone is too low in some muscles and too high in other muscles, the type of cerebral palsy is called mixed. About one fourth of all children with CP have mixed CP.
A law firm you can trust to fight for your child's needs
Cerebral palsy is often caused by damage inflicted on the child's brain during birth, usually due to medical negligence. As a result of that injury, you child may need a lifetime of care and services. And the last thing you need is to struggle to give your child the life he or she deserves.
We know how to handle these complex cases and fight for the compensation your family needs to take care of your child. If your child has cerebral palsy and you believe a medical provider's negligence was the cause, we want to hear from you. Contact us today for your free, confidential consultation.