Pediatric Orthopedic Treatments for Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is a neurological condition that often impacts joints, muscles, bones and tendons. There may be stiff muscles (spasticity), spinal curvature (scoliosis), hip issues and unusual hand or foot positioning (contracture). These issues may prevent natural movement, limit function and cause discomfort.
Pediatric orthopedic surgeons at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital have extensive knowledge of cerebral palsy complications. We deliver comprehensive care that optimizes your child’s quality of life.
We are in clinics throughout South Florida, making it easier to receive cerebral palsy evaluations and treatment close to home. Many clinic locations also have on-site imaging and physical therapy clinics in the same building. This arrangement helps your child get more out of each visit.
Nonsurgical Orthopedic Care for Cerebral Palsy
Physical therapy through [U18] Sports Medicine may help improve joint alignment and prevent soft tissue problems from worsening. Therapists deliver contracture treatments that stretch and loosen up stiff muscles. We may also guide your child through gentle exercises that improve a joint’s range of motion.
Additional nonsurgical options may include:
- Assistive devices, like crutches or a walker
- Bracing for scoliosis and contractures that make walking difficult
- Botox injections to help stiff muscles relax
- Shoe lifts to even out differences in limb length
Cerebral Palsy Surgery
Addressing orthopedic conditions of cerebral palsy with surgery requires expert care from an experienced team. Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital pediatric orthopedic surgeons have advanced (fellowship) training in a broad range of specialties. Some have decades of experience. This combination of experience and expertise enables us to treat the region’s most complex cases successfully.
Our cerebral palsy surgery options include procedures that are not widely available. We offer:
- Flatfoot surgery, which may involve tendon lengthening to improve the foot’s contact with the ground when standing
- Hand and upper extremity surgery to relieve spasticity and contracture
- Hip preservation surgery to restore natural joint alignment
- Limb length discrepancy correction to bring limbs closer to the same length
- Scoliosis procedures to reduce an unusual sideways spinal curve
- Tendon transfer or muscle lengthening, which may improve your child’s ability to straighten their knee
Orthopedic Care for Cerebral Palsy at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital
You’ll find all the nonsurgical and surgical orthopedic therapies your child needs in one program. Nationally renowned pediatric specialists in hip, spine and other specialties deliver services reflecting the latest science in orthopedic cerebral palsy care. We provide timely, personalized therapies that address your child’s changing needs. Meet our team.
Highlights of our program include:
- Seamless care: Your child’s orthopedic team may include surgeons, physical medicine doctors (physiatrists), radiologists and physical therapists. All providers specialize in pediatrics and have deep experience in cerebral palsy. We meet regularly to plan treatments and services that fit your child’s unique needs.
- Coordination: Our orthopedic specialists work with pediatric neurologists from Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital and throughout our South Florida community. We share test findings, treatment recommendations and progress reports as necessary. These efforts keep your child’s care moving forward across multiple specialties.
- Conservative approach: Your child has more treatment options when you come to an orthopedic program specializing in cerebral palsy such as ours. Before recommending cerebral palsy surgery, we first consider nonsurgical therapies offering the greatest benefit. Mild issues often improve with physical therapy or custom braces.
- Advanced therapies: We offer sophisticated options that straighten spinal curvature, realign hips and relieve discomfort from spasticity and contracture. Our experience from performing a high volume of these procedures enables your child to achieve the best possible results.