Cerebral palsy (CP) is a brain (neurological) disorder that causes problems with normal motor function. It is a lifelong condition that affects how the brain and muscles communicate. CP affects body movement, muscle control, coordination, reflexes, posture, and balance. These problems are caused by damage to or abnormal development of certain brain areas. But many children with CP have normal intelligence. CP can range in severity, but it doesn’t get worse over time. CP does not get better over time either. With diagnosis and treatment, children can learn how to manage their condition.
It causes deformities in the muscles, bones and joints. In the upper limb it produces varying deformities at the shoulder, elbow, forearm, wrist and hand. The typical posture in the shoulder, elbow, hand or fingers would make it difficult for the child to effectively use his/ her hands .
Upper limb dysfunction is usually noted by 1 year of age.
Many of the problems are managed effectively with physiotherapy by a trained therapist.
Few conditions require surgery. The goals of surgery are three fold 1) To rebalance the muscles in the limb to improve functions 2) To decrease hygiene problems 3) To improve cosmetic appearance.
The ideal age for surgical intervention is between 6 to 12 years.
Botox injection is used in selective patients to achieve functional improvement.