"Cerebral palsy (CP) describes a group of disorders of the development of movement and posture, causing activity limitation, that are attributed to non-progressive disturbances that occurred in the developing fetal or infant brain."1
CP may result in spastic, athetoid, ataxic, hypotonic or mixed tone. The distribution of CP includes diplegia, quadriplegia, and hemiplegia.
Diplegia involves all four limbs with greater involvement in the lower limbs
Hemiplegia involves the limbs, neck, and trunk of one side of the body
Quadriplegia involves changes in tone in the entire body
Complications may include cognitive impairment, mental retardation and learning disabilities; seizures; feeding and communication difficulties; respiratory compromise; gastrointestinal abnormalities contributing to digestive problems; bladder and bowel control problems; dental issues; and hearing and vision problems.
Immediate medical attention should be sought for:
In the neonate, physiological and behavioral responses to painful and noxious stimuli should be carefully observed. Pain can be manifested by changes in blood pressure, oxygen saturation, heart rate, and respiration as well as change in tone and facial expression.
The immobility and lack of weight-bearing activities is associated with reduced bone mass, osteopenia, osteoporosis, and fracture.
Physical Therapy Examination
A review of complications of pregnancy and delivery, birth weight, gestation, and any neonatal and perinatal difficulties; discussion of medical issues, feeding problems, and other health-related problems
Developmental milestones (Refer to Tab 2)
Assistive and Adaptive Devices
Infant walkers should not be used; the American Academy of Pediatrics has called for a ban on infant walkers, stressing that they can result in serious injury, offer no benefits, and may delay motor development;3...