Published: Jan. 25, 2012
Updated: Jan. 25, 2012
Our goal at Duke is to help your child with cerebral palsy attain their highest functional ability. That is why we believe so strongly in a multidisciplinary approach to working with your child.
During his or her time at the cerebral palsy clinic, your child will be followed by a team of highly skilled orthopaedic surgeons, neurologists, neurodevelopmental pediatricians, and therapists to ensure that all of his or her needs are being met.
We offer comprehensive care for your child with cerebral palsy. All of our physical therapists and occupational therapists are highly skilled at interventions for children with cerebral palsy. We serve children from the neonatal period until they are 21 or older.
In addition to their comprehensive therapies, we can order and modify all equipment (including walkers and wheelchairs) and orthotics. We work closely with the specialized physicians to ensure that your child is receiving the best in care.
Cerebral palsy refers to any one of a number of neurological disorders that appear in infancy or early childhood and permanently affect body movement and muscle coordination but don’t worsen over time. It is caused by abnormalities in parts of the brain that control muscle movements.
The majority of children with cerebral palsy are born with it, although it may not be detected until months or years later. The early signs of cerebral palsy usually appear before a child reaches three years of age. The most common are a lack of muscle coordination when performing voluntary movements (ataxia); stiff or tight muscles and exaggerated reflexes (spasticity); walking with one foot or leg dragging; walking on the toes, a crouched gait, or a “scissored” gait; and muscle tone that is either too stiff or too floppy.
Here at Duke, we will follow your child throughout their childhood to ensure that they are functioning to their highest capability and that they are avoiding joint contractures and deformity that result from abnormal muscle pull. We strongly believe in every child’s potential and look forward to working with you and your family to help your child realize it.