Spastic diplegia is a form of cerebral palsy, a neurological condition permanently affecting coordination and muscular control. "Spastic" means related to or affected with muscle spasms. "Diplegia" means paralysis on both sides of the body of corresponding body parts, typically affecting the legs more than the arms.
Symptoms of spastic diplegia appear during infancy or early childhood. The first indications often occur when the child begins to crawl. Instead of a normal, four-limbed crawling motion, a child with this condition may use the arms in a normal manner but drag the legs behind in a commando crawl.
Symptoms of spastic diplegia and the severity of the condition can vary widely from person to person. This condition causes increased muscle tone, resulting in tight or stiff muscles and spasticity (exaggerated reflexes).
Children with spastic diplegia may have delays in motor development, including rolling over, sitting, and standing. They may walk on their toes, or walk with a scissored gait. Fortunately, although symptoms may change as the child grows older, spastic diplegia does not worsen over time.
A variety of other symptoms can affect people with any form of cerebral palsy, including spastic diplegia. Those symptoms may include:
Spastic diplegia occurs when there is damage to or abnormal development of the portion of the brain that controls movement. There are different causes of the brain damage or abnormal development leading to spastic diplegia, including:
Certain medical conditions and factors may increase the risk of a child having cerebral palsy and spastic diplegia:
Spastic diplegia cerebral palsy is diagnosed based on characteristic symptoms of the condition. However, diagnostic testing may be performed to rule out other possible conditions with similar symptoms. The child’s physician may order:
When spastic diplegia has been diagnosed, treatment will vary depending on the symptoms and severity of the condition. Treatment may be required from a number of healthcare providers specializing in different fields, including neurology, physical therapy, and rehabilitation.
Medications may be prescribed to relax stiff or overactive muscles. Orthopedic surgery may be recommended when severe symptoms make walking or moving painful or difficult. Orthotic devices such as leg braces, walkers, or wheelchairs, may be prescribed, along with physical or occupational therapy to help improve independent mobility.
If your child has been diagnosed with spastic diplegia, you know that the future holds many difficult challenges, and want to give your child every possible advantage. Physical and rehabilitative therapy during childhood, along with the best medical treatment, can have a significant impact on your child when he or she reaches adulthood. Parents of children with spastic diplegia naturally want to provide the best therapeutic and educational options available for their children.
When spastic diplegia cerebral palsy is the result of preventable birth injuries caused by medical negligence, the parents of the injured child have a right to seek compensation. A child with this condition will typically require extensive medical treatment, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and occupational therapy in the years ahead. Pursuing compensation from the negligent medical professionals who caused your child’s injuries can help make it possible to provide the quality care your child will need to lead a better life.
At Birth Injury Safety, we represent families who have been victims of birth injury caused by medical negligence. Laura Brown is a patient-safety advocate for mothers and babies, and a Texas birth injury lawyer who has served families in this situation for years. We can provide skilled legal assistance and guidance in your claim to recover compensation for spastic diplegia birth injuries. Call (214) 974-4121 for more information.
Injury: Oxygen Deprivation During Labor & Delivery Resulting in Brain Injury & Cerebral Palsy
Injury: Oxygen Deprivation During Labor & Delivery Resulting in Brain Damage & Cerebral Palsy
Note: If any of the cases listed here had been unsuccessful, the law firm would have paid all of the expenses for the case without being reimbursed by the client and would have received $0 dollars in attorney's fees.