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Neurosurgery Can Help Children With Severe Cerebral Palsy

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Children who develop cerebral palsy after birth often need physical and behavioral therapy to ensure that they can handle the demands of this condition. However, some children may develop more intensive cerebral palsy that requires more intensive treatments to manage. And neurological surgeons can provide this care at a level that works for their needs.

How Cerebral Palsy Impacts a Child's Development

The development of cerebral palsy after birth often makes it very hard for a child to control their hands and other extremities and to perform fine-motor skills with ease. A child's intelligence with this condition is rarely affected, meaning that they can usually find ways to adapt to this problem if it is minor enough and if they get help from a doctor at various points in their life.

However, this disease may also trigger more severe motor control issues that can be hard for a child to tolerate, requiring the use of various types of neurological treatments. Thankfully, neuroscientists and surgeons understand how to provide this level of care in a way that makes a child better prepared for life and capable of handling the unique demands thrown at them due to their condition.

Ways Neurosurgeons Can Help

Although many children can live happy lives with cerebral palsy without getting surgery, those with extreme cases — such as children who cannot handle their hands or other types of motor skills — may need surgery from a neurological surgical expert. This type of treatment often includes what surgeons call a "baclofen pump" that produces muscle relaxation that decreases symptoms of cerebral palsy.

When the pump is properly inserted by a doctor, a child will find that their symptoms decrease and that they can handle fine-motor skills that may have been beyond them before. Neurosurgeons can give parents information on these options or maintain a baclofen pump, as needed, to keep the child healthy. This replacement is something that may need to be done for years throughout a child's life.

However, there is a good chance that the pump may produce enough benefits that the child doesn't have to utilize it as they age because their muscles will have become strong enough to manage the palsy. In this scenario, the neurosurgeon can remove the pump, and the child can master other coping mechanisms that make cerebral palsy easier to manage as they age and their life becomes more challenging due to work and relationships. Contact a neurosurgeon to learn more.