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Jeff Brody
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Orthopedic Impairment and Cerebral Palsy

An orthopedic impairment is a physically disabling circumstance that is determined to be a severe impairment of a person’s locomotion or motor functions.  The term covers the problems often found in people with cerebral palsy. 

Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders generally characterized by some problem in motor or locomotion function.  Usually cerebral palsy is caused by some trauma or other injury to the brain before, during, or shortly after birth.  Sometimes it can affect a child as late as 2 or 3 years old.  Many cases of cerebral palsy can be traced to some medical or doctor mistake that occurred in the hospital.

There are several devices that can be helpful for persons with cerebral palsy.  These devices can aid in the person’s motor function or walking.  A long-term treatment or therapy using this adaptive equipment can be effective in helping a person with cerebral palsy in walking or moving around outside on their own. 

Orthopedic impairment due to cerebral palsy can be aided by devices such as a wheelchair.  Many people who have cerebral palsy in the legs are able to use their arms to roll a manual wheelchair.  Other types of wheelchairs are available to people who cannot use their arms, such as electronic or motorized wheelchairs.  These types of wheelchairs can have a computer board attached to them to aid in communication.  Other types of newer wheelchairs can actually raise the person up in order to be at eye level with those around them.  Many types of electronic wheelchairs are operated with a joystick attached to the armrest of the chair, making it easy for the patient to maneuver through the outside world.

 Some people with orthopedic impairment due to cerebral palsy can be assisted with the use of other equipment like walkers or canes.  These devices are often used in people with cerebral palsy who may not have very severe symptoms in their legs.  A walker can be helpful in maintaining balance and locomotion.  Canes may provide the extra balancing that some cerebral palsy patients need.  Canes can be most helpful in patients with cerebral palsy in one leg, or one side, of the body.

 Orthopedic impairment can take many forms in the person with cerebral palsy.  One or both legs can be impaired, different muscle groups in the body can be affected, there can be difficulty walking due to stiffness or spasticity, or there can be problems associated with having one limb longer or shorter than the other.  Often, assistive devices aid in helping cerebral palsy patients with orthopedic impairments live normal, productive lives. 

The cost of this equipment may or may not be covered by insurance.  Some or all of the cost for adaptive equipment may be recovered if the patient’s cerebral palsy is caused by a medical mistake.  Contact an experienced orthopedic impairment due to cerebral palsy lawyer through this Web site for a free consultation.

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