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Jeff Brody
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Tenotomy for Cerebral Palsy

Most cerebral palsy patients have some form of spasticity.  This manifests itself in anywhere from half to about 80% of people with cerebral palsy.  With spasticity, a patient’s muscles become contracted, causing stiffness and inability of many movements.  People with cerebral palsy sometimes have serious leg spasticity that causes a scissor-like gait, or even prevents walking from happening at all.  Surgeries such as tenotomy for cerebral palsy have had some success in providing relief for people with serious spasticity.

Symptoms of spasticity should first be diagnosed in order to make an informed decision on whether to perform tenotomy for cerebral palsy or not.  Both legs of the patient can have spasticity and this is called spastic diplegia.  One side of the body can be affected, called spastic hemiplegia.  Sometimes all four limbs of the body can be affected and this is called spastic quadriplegia.   Although CP is a non-progressive disease, meaning that it generally doesn’t get better or worse over time, symptoms of spasticity can get worse.  If spasticity worsens it can cause serious damage to the limbs such as contractures or skeletal problems.

Tenotomy is the surgical procedure of cutting or dividing an affected tendon or muscle.  Tenotomy is commonly performed to treat contractures that develop from spasticity in cerebral palsy patients.  Once the tendons are cut, the limb (arm or leg) is then put into a cast or brace.  The cast helps the limb conform to a more normal growth pattern.  Tenotomy surgery can be helpful in serious cases of cerebral palsy where the possibility of further damage (such as hip fractures) is heightened.

Surgeries such as tenotomy for cerebral palsy can result in a child obtaining improvements in their muscle tones and spasticity.  The help that tenotomy may have in preventing hip displacement and fracture is often very beneficial.  The cutting of the tendons is a surgery, however, and there are certain risks that should be covered with your doctor. 

The resulting effect may not produce the recovery rates that were expected.  Tenotomy may also result in one side of the body differing more than the other in recovery.  This could lead to further physical development problems in the child or patient with cerebral palsy.  Spasticity can be severely damaging and limiting to the person with cerebral palsy, however, and surgeries such as tenotomy can help in recovering some muscle control.  Tenotomy may also help in the proper development of the limbs.

If you or a loved one suspects that a case of cerebral palsy may have been caused by medical mistakes then costs of surgeries such as tenotomy may be covered by a cerebral palsy lawsuit.  Only by contacting an experienced lawyer for a free consultation will you be able to discover your true rights and benefits.





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