Photo credit: BabyCenter.com
You may notice that your child is walking on their toes or
However, you should talk to your podiatrist if:
- they always walk on their toes and have stiffness in their muscles
- they uncoordinated
- this is accompanied by delayed development in their motor skills
- there is a waddling gait or a lot of stumbling
Cerebral palsy is a condition or group of disorders, present at birth (congenital) or acquired, which adversely
- deprivation of oxygen at birth (asphyxia) or reduced oxygen levels in the womb or during birth
- womb infections leading to abnormal inflammatory response, which can cause an
- autoimmune attack on the developing baby’s nervous system
Other causes include:
- placental pathology
- inborn errors
- genetic causes
Risk factors for cerebral palsy are premature delivery, coexisting at birth abnormalities, growth restrictions in the womb and excessive multiple pregnancies.
Types of cerebral palsy
Spastic hemiplegia – one arm and one leg are affected on the same side of the body.
Spastic diplegia – both legs or both arms are affected.
Monoplegia – only one leg or one arm is affected.
Quadriplegia – both legs and both arms are affected. Sometimes, the muscles of the trunk, mouth, tongue
Triplegia – both arms and one leg or both legs and one arm are affected.
Orthotics can help prevent functional problems from getting worse and allows the passive correction of the deformity in
Ankle Foot Orthoses / Ritchie Braces
AFOs (ankle foot orthoses) or other products, such as Ritchie Braces can also be recommended if they have excessive calf muscle tightness. A solid AFOs ensures foot control and helps the ankle joint. Also, they increase side-to-side stability and help the foot with ground contact. Research has shown that these braces reduce the high impact forces early in children with spastic diplegia.
Physical therapy helps maintain balance, with postural exercises being the most effective. Furthermore, lower extremity exercises such as Theraband calf muscle exercises can also help increase
Newer treatment types include intramuscular injections for spasticity. Injections include local
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