The brain injuries that cause cerebral palsy also commonly cause muscle spasticity, which can limit patients’ mobility and control over their movements. Spasticity that is mild or limited in scope may respond to conservative treatments such as physical therapy, oral medications or injections of botulinum toxin (botox).
But children with severe spasticity, or spasticity that does not respond to these treatments, should be considered for neurosurgery.
In properly selected patients, therapy directed at the underlying nervous system abnormalities can markedly improve function and quality of life. According to Boston Children’s Hospital’s Shenandoah Robinson, MD, neurosurgery can also reduce bone deformation and joint damage, decreasing the need for orthopedic surgery.