Cerebral palsy is considered to be a brain injury that occurs in developing brains of infants, before, during, or after birth. The term “cerebral palsy” is used to describe many different “palsies,” or malfunctions, occurring in the brain after injury. Children can develop cerebral palsy up until the age of two or three, and it can be caused by distress to the infant during labor, severe jaundice, or an Rh incompatibility between the infant and the mother.
While cerebral palsy is developing, and for years after the disorder has been present, the child’s muscle control, coordination, tone, reflexes, posture, and balance might be affected. Some children may also experience learning difficulties, seizure disorders, and problems with their speech, hearing, or language.
But what are the long-term effects of a cerebral palsy injury?
Cerebral palsy is not a progressive brain disorder, so the brain damage will not continue to get worse throughout life. However, the symptoms associated with the disorder can change over time. Some of the symptoms that might start to present themselves are:
• Sudden occurrence of spasms, or an increase in existing spasms
• Contracting of muscles, perhaps with increased frequency
• Pain and loss of flexibility in the joints
• Tightened muscles
• Back pain
• Fatigue that continually gets worse
The different long-term symptoms also aren’t consistent in their degrees of intensity. Sometimes the symptoms might get better, and sometimes they might get worse.
To decrease the risk of seeing any long-term effects of a cerebral palsy injury, or to reduce symptoms already present, proper posture is of utmost importance, especially if sitting in a wheelchair for long periods of time. Walking is often encouraged in cerebral palsy patients, when possible, but shouldn’t be done if it’s difficult or painful. Weight gain can also be a long-term effect of a cerebral palsy injury, as it can render patients immobile, and can also worsen with poor posture and lack of exercise.
At Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP, we know how devastating cerebral palsy can be for your family and household finances. We’re experienced in identifying the cause of individual cerebral palsy cases, and when necessary, obtaining judgements and settlements on your child’s behalf. If your child was born with cerebral palsy, or you want to learn more about medical malpractice representation, call us today. We can help you understand all the corners of the law regarding cerebral palsy, so you can decide what’s right for you and your family. You can reach us at (212) 986- 7353.