Cerebral Palsy Information

Cerebral Palsy Treatments

Cerebral Palsy Types

Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy

Originally referred to as “Little's Disease,” diplegia is a type of cerebral palsy classification. Diplegia is officially known as spastic diplegia and is said to affect the muscles in the lower body – specifically the legs, pelvis and hips. Patients who have diplegia cerebral palsy often have difficulty coordinating their movements, particularly when it comes to walking. According to the United Cerebral Palsy group:

  • About 3 in every 1,000 infants will be diagnosed with diplegia
  • Between 70 and 80 percent of all cases are classified as diplegia

Diplegia Symptoms

Children with diplegia may experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • ataxia, poor coordination when trying to execute voluntary movements
  • hypertonia, muscles that are abnormally toned and excessively stiff
  • dragging one foot or leg when walking (or other walking abnormalities)
  • drooling and/or swallowing problems
  • epilepsy
  • mental retardation
  • problems performing precise motions, such as those necessary for writing
  • spasticity, involuntary, jerky, repetitive movements
  • tremors

Causes of Cerebral Palsy and Diplegia

Diplegia cerebral palsy is almost always caused by some trauma that causes irreversible brain damage. Although most of these traumas occur during the pregnancy as the baby is developing in the womb, occasionally the trauma occurs during or in the months following birth. Examples of such traumas that cause or worsen a case of diplegia include:

  • maternal infections, such as the measles, chickenpox, toxoplasmosis or syphilis
  • fetal infections, such as meningitis or other brain infections
  • fetal stroke
  • lack of oxygen during the birthing process
  • severe jaundice

Sometime cerebral palsy is a result of a mistake made during the birthing process. This is referred to as medical malpractice. Mistakes that may lead to the development of an infant’s cerebral palsy are known to include a failure to:

  • perform an emergency C-section when one is clearly vital
  • diagnose and treat a baby's lack of oxygen, meningitis and/or seizures
  • diagnose and treat a mother's high blood pressure, toxemia or infections
  • diagnose and treat a prolapsed umbilical cord (meaning the cord is caught around a baby's neck, potentially cutting off the oxygen supply)
  • respond to heart rate changes in the mother or baby

When doctors and nurses make mistakes before, during or after a baby is born, victims and their families should consult with a legal professional to find out what the appropriate course of action should be. In cases of preventable cerebral palsy, patients and their families will have legal rights and will almost always be eligible for compensation. For more information, contact a cerebral palsy lawyer.

  • 1Contact info
  • 2Birth conditions
  • 3Hospitalization
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