Hemiplegia cerebral palsy is the name for the disorder when an arm and leg on the same side of the body are paralyzed. Hemiparesis means weakness of the arm and leg on the same side of the body.
Typically, in persons with hemiplegia:
- The arm usually is compromised more than the leg
- The hand is the most affected part of the body
- The disabled hand also has problems with touch and the ability to feel
- If the leg is disabled. the ankle and foot are more affected than the knee
- Because of tight tendons in the heel, these patients often walk on the tips of their toes
- Gait is affected
- Seizures can occur depending upon where the brain damage is
- Speech is delayed
- Vision is impaired
- The spine may be curved
- Intelligence is normal
- Spasticity may occur
Pathophysiology of Hemiplegia Cerebral Palsy
The most common cause in the brain of a person with hemiplegia is a focal lesion. The location of the lesion produces hemiplegia on the opposite side of the body. A brain lesion in the left hemisphere of the brain would result in hemiplegia on the right side of the body.
Focal lesions can result from a stroke, trauma to the head, a brain tumor, or infection among other causes.
Cerebral Palsy Hemiplegia Treatment
Physical therapy is very important for treating cerebral palsy hemiplegia, just as it is important for treating all types of cerebral palsy. The goal of therapy is to prevent contractures, extend range of motion, improve function and strengthen the limbs and back. In the case of the affected hand, treatment should focus on improving grip and muscle control.
Other treatments for those with cerebral palsy hemiplegia may include:
- Occupational therapy
- Medication to treat seizures and relax muscles
- Surgery to improve problems with anatomy and release tight muscles
- Behavioral therapy and counseling
- Use of splints, orthotics, braces and other devices to help with walking, posture, and problems with muscles
- Use of wheelchairs and walkers
- Speech therapy and communication aids when needed
- Working with educators to improve the classroom experience
If your child has been diagnosed with hemiplegia, contact our cerebral palsy lawyers today.