Super Lawyers
Illinois State Bar Association
Justia Lawyer Rating
Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Avvo Rating
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers BBB Business Review

Spastic Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit

Cerebral palsy is one of the most common neurological disorders found in children, and it usually happens when the child has suffered a birth injury.

Cerebral palsy will impact muscle tone, and it could lead to muscle stiffness. In addition, a child with cerebral palsy may suffer from other conditions that go along with the disease.

Spastic CP

If your child's cerebral palsy spasticity resulted from medical negligence, your family may be entitled to financial compensation. Contact the birth injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers today to schedule your free initial consultation.

Spastic CP Is Caused by a Brain Injury

Spastic CP results from brain damage to the motor cortex. The damage could have happened in utero or during the labor and delivery process when there was a traumatic brain injury.

Other factors that can cause spastic cerebral palsy are:

  • Low birth weight
  • Premature birth
  • Maternal infection

Many cases of spastic cerebral palsy are preventable. The disease will seldom happen on its own. Usually, the doctor has either failed to act on certain risk factors or did not take prompt action for a c-section when the mother was having a difficult delivery.

Diagnosing Spastic Cerebral Palsy

It may take some time for parents to begin to notice the symptoms of spastic cerebral palsy. Usually, spastic cerebral palsy is not conclusively diagnosed until the child reaches the age of 18-24 months.

First, parents may notice some of the following symptoms:

  • Missed developmental milestones
  • Delayed ability to sit up (or the inability to do so)
  • Lack of reflexes
  • The child appearing in constant discomfort
  • The child seeming overly stiff

Parents should bring these symptoms to the attention of the child's doctor, especially if the child had any of the risk factors for cerebral palsy.

The child's pediatrician would then send your child to a neurologist, who would run tests. The neurologist would also observe your child and order some of the following tests:

The doctor may run a combination of these tests, as well as other examinations, that could rule out other conditions causing your child's symptoms.

Once your child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy, you should both begin intensive therapy and contact a birth injury lawyer. Chances are that your child's condition resulted from medical negligence because very few cases of cerebral palsy happen on their own.

What Spastic Cerebral Palsy Means for Your Child

The main feature of spastic cerebral palsy is an increased muscle tone. The signals between the brain and spinal cord do not work as well, resulting in spastic muscles. The pyramidal tracts relay the signals from the brain to the muscles is damaged, resulting in a movement disorder.

Often, the result of stiff muscles impacts your child's ability to walk normally and independently and could lead to chronic pain in their lower limbs.

While cerebral palsy is not a spinal cord injury, it will share many of the same features. The central nervous system is also affected by spastic cerebral palsy, and your child may have difficulty with:

  • Learning
  • Hearing
  • Seeing
  • Thinking

Cerebral palsy also has other conditions that occur at the same time. The most common other condition is epilepsy. Roughly 40% of children with cerebral palsy will also have seizures.

Your child may also experience mental health issues as a result of their injury. Therefore, it is vital to treat the whole child, including mental health support. Your child would have an entire treatment team that consists of many doctors and therapists who would both administer therapy and treat the child's physical symptoms.

Statistics About Spastic Cerebral Palsy

Spastic cerebral palsy is the most common form of the disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control, roughly 80% of cerebral palsy cases are of the spastic variety. Spasticity affects children with cerebral palsy in different ways.

Some children with spastic cerebral palsy will also have another form of cerebral palsy that will make the condition more difficult. Mixed cerebral palsy can combine spastic CP with ataxic or dyskinetic cerebral palsy, leading to a more challenging case that will reduce more of your child's normal functioning.

Different Types of Spastic Cerebral Palsy

Here are some of the types of spastic cerebral palsy:

Spastic diplegia - this is a form of cerebral palsy that primarily affects the legs. The child will have a "scissor walk." The knees will turn inward when walking due to tightness in the knees and muscles.

Spastic quadriplegia - this is the most serious type of spastic cerebral palsy. Usually, spastic cerebral palsy will primarily affect the legs. Spastic quadriplegia will impact both the legs and arms. Your child will require lifelong support.

Spastic hemiplegia - as opposed to affecting the arms or legs, spastic hemiplegia will impact one side of the body, and it could affect both the arm and leg on that side.

Stiff Muscles Are the Primary Symptom of Spastic CP

The affected muscles in spastic CP are usually in the legs (especially the calf muscles). It is very rare for the arms to be impacted. Unlike dyskinetic cerebral pals, where children experience jerky movements from overactive muscles, children with spastic cerebral palsy struggle with voluntary movement.

There are a number of other symptoms that may go along with spastic cerebral palsy. They include:

  • Seizure disorder
  • Vision impairment
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Deficiencies in gross motor function
  • Developmental delays

Spastic Cerebral Palsy Can Affect Bone Growth

The increased muscle tone of the spastic muscle can also impact the child's bones. The shafts of the bones themselves can be thin, leading to bone deformities. The long bones can grow in a spiral shape, causing joint deformities.

This will increase the difficulty walking that the child may have, and they may not be able to walk at all. Abnormal bone growth can also lead to issues with joint position and a propensity for hip dislocation.

Spastic cerebral palsy can also cause low bone density, making a child much more susceptible to broken bones and fractures. The lack of normal development of bones can also cause movement difficulties and increase the risk that the child may develop osteoporosis.

Spastic cerebral palsy can also result in shortened muscles. The spastic muscles themselves have trouble stretching out to keep up with bone growth. As a result, the child may have a joint that does not have its full rate of movement.

Treatment for Spastic Cerebral Palsy

Spastic CP requires an entire treatment team for your child because they need extensive professional medical advice and therapy. The treatment team will usually be led by a doctor with an expertise in child neurology.

Early intervention can help improve your child's life, both in the short and long run. They can better perform daily tasks when they have more motor control and muscle control.

Your child may be prescribed one or more of the following as part of their treatment plan:

  • Physical and occupational therapy (improving the muscle tone through physical therapy may help control movement and decrease muscle spasticity, occupational therapy can help your child with certain tasks and improve their sensory functions)
  • Speech therapy
  • Medications (such as pain relievers and muscle relaxers)
  • Surgical treatment to loosen muscles (neurological surgeons may operate to provide some relief, although surgery will not cure cerebral palsy)
  • Medical equipment (such as braces to keep the legs straight)
  • Therapeutic heat for stiff muscles

The treatment plan is based in part on your child's age and the severity of their case.

In addition, children may be prescribed some more routine daily measures to help reduce pain and muscle tightness, including over-the-counter medications and stretching exercises.

Why You Need a Cerebral Palsy Lawyer

Your child will need extensive physical therapy over the course of their lifetime in order to lead as normal of a life as possible. In addition, they will suffer over the course of their life from the debilitating effects of cerebral palsy.

If someone was to blame for your child's birth injury, they should be made to pay for it. However, they may either try to escape responsibility for paying for these damages altogether, or they may try to pay your family far less than they deserve.

A birth injury lawyer will hold the responsible party accountable for your child's head injury that caused this medical condition.

Attorneys Helping Families of Children With Cerebral Palsy

If your child has been diagnosed with spastic CP, there is a strong chance that a doctor could be to blame for this injury. The cerebral palsy attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers will work to hold the doctor legally responsible if your child's injury was caused by medical negligence.

Call our cerebral palsy attorneys today at (888) 424-5757 or message us online to schedule your free initial consultation. We will investigate your child's injury and explain your legal options. If we have concluded that medical malpractice is to blame, we will file a lawsuit that could result in financial compensation for your child and family

Client Reviews
★★★★★
Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld. Michonne Proulx
★★★★★
Extremely impressed with this law firm. They took control of a bad motorcycle crash that left my uncle seriously injured. Without any guarantee of a financial recovery, they went out and hired accident investigators and engineers to help prove how the accident happened. I am grateful that they worked on a contingency fee basis as there was no way we could have paid for these services on our own. Ethan Armstrong
★★★★★
This lawyer really helped me get compensation for my motorcycle accident case. I know there is no way that I could have gotten anywhere near the amount that Mr. Rosenfeld was able to get to settle my case. Thank you. Daniel Kaim
★★★★★
Jonathan helped my family heal and get compensation after our child was suffered a life threatening injury at daycare. He was sympathetic and in constant contact with us letting us know all he knew every step of the way. We were so blessed to find Jonathan! Giulia
★★★★★
Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa