Cerebral palsy (CP) is a condition that occurs due to a brain injury around the time of birth. Affected children will have problems with muscle control and tone. Patients show gait problems and involuntary movements. They may also have floppiness or stiffness of the body. 


1. Spasticity and Muscle Contractures

Many individuals with cerebral palsy experience spasticity, which is increased muscle stiffness and involuntary muscle contractions. Over time, this can lead to muscle contractures. These contractures can affect the range of motion in joints, making movement difficult and painful.

2. Joint Deformities

Due to muscle imbalances and contractures, people with cerebral palsy may develop joint deformities such as:

  • Hip Dislocation
    The hip joint may become partially or completely dislocated from its socket, leading to pain and difficulty walking.
  • Knee Contractures 
    Tightness in the muscles at the back of the thigh can cause the knee to remain bent, making it difficult to straighten the leg fully.
  • Ankle Deformities 
    The foot is pointed downward due to tightness in the calf muscles, making it challenging to walk with a normal heel-to-toe gait.

3. Scoliosis
Scoliosis, or curvature of the spine, is more common in individuals with cerebral palsy compared to the general population. The condition may progress over time and affect posture and function.


Managing orthopedic problems in cerebral palsy requires a multidisciplinary approach involving healthcare professionals such as orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists, and rehabilitation specialists. 

These orthopedic conditions need to be monitored regularly. Depending on the patient’s needs and case severity, there are non-surgical and surgical treatment options available to provide the best attainable quality of life.

  • Physical Therapy
    Stretching exercises, range-of-motion exercises, and strengthening exercises can help improve flexibility, mobility, and muscle strength.
  • Orthotics 
    Braces, splints, or orthopedic footwear may be prescribed to support proper alignment of joints and reduce the risk of contractures and deformities.
  • Surgery 
    In severe cases, surgical procedures such as muscle lengthening, tendon transfers, or joint reconstructions may be recommended to correct deformities and improve function.
  • Pain Management 
    Medications, nerve blocks, or other pain management techniques may be used to alleviate discomfort associated with orthopedic issues.

The goal of treatment is to maximize independence for people living with cerebral palsy by overcoming orthopedic challenges. By addressing these issues comprehensively, individuals with cerebral palsy can lead fulfilling and active lives.  For a thorough evaluation and proper management, visit our Pediatric Orthopedic specialists.

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