Medical Orthotics for Children with Cerebral Palsy

Medical orthotics as continued treatment for children living with Cerebral Palsy (CP) is essential to improve pain management levels as well as the patients’ efficiency of movement. Without the intervention of an orthopedic specialist it can become a possibility that the CP patient never fully explores the range of movement that could potentially be available to them. Here is some information about what orthotic supplies along with the help of medical orthotics can provide patients.

How Does CP Manifest in Children’s Motor Skills?

The varying degrees of CP may manifest differently in each individual child meaning even if the child presents the same kind of CP their symptoms may be realized differently. Cerebral Palsy is defined as damage to the immature brain (in utero) which presents complications growing up when it comes to:

  • Balance
  • Coordination
  • Movement

By having regular interactions with medical orthotics the factors that develop slowly or not at all without this intervention can be minimized. Continued therapy from an orthopedic specialist will ensure the correct orthotic supplies are used in conjunction with medical orthotics to maximize movement and comfort for the patient.

Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) for CP Children

The GMFCS is a means of classifying the care most likely required by the child or young person with CP considering which level they fall into on this system when they are between the ages of six and twelve. The five Level of the GMFCS can be briefly understood as the following:

GMFCS Level I

Children are able to perform gross motor skills such and running, jumping and climbing stairs unassisted by a railing. However, the speed, balance and coordination with which they do so is limited.

GMFCS Level II

Children experience difficulty negotiating an incline on stairs and on general terrains. This difficulty (especially in balance) is magnified when they walk long distances or must do so in crowded or small areas. Their ability for gross motor skills like running and jumping are minimal.

GMFCS Level III

These children most likely require a mobility device, especially in indoor settings. They can climb stairs with assistance or at the very least vigilant supervision. They often turn to wheelchair suppliers to provide a means of crossing long distances.

GMFCS Level IV

Most situations and settings require some form of wheelchair supplies to be used whether a walker, wheelchair or physical assistance. They could be able to walk for a short distance with assistance but alternative transportation is required.

GMFCS Level V

In these cases the child requires a wheelchair all or most of the time. They have limited control over their antigravity head and trunk postures as well and difficulty controlling leg and arm movements.

Why Management with Medial Orthotics is Critical to CP Children

The use of the GMFCS to determine the level of care a child with CP needs is beneficial to both orthopedic specialists and orthotic suppliers to determine how they can provide aid to any particular CP patient.

By receiving the proper care at the right time children with CP make use of medical orthotics to:

  • Correct or prevent deformity
  • Provide a base of support
  • Allow for the training and exercising of motor skills
  • Improve efficiency of gait

Due to the fact that skeletal growth can be affected by CP during children’s growth they should be closely monitored by an orthopedic specialist continuously and frequently. Building a relationship with trusted orthotics suppliers will also mean your child never goes without the equipment they need.

For trusted medical orthotics, orthotic supplies, orthopedic specialist and wheelchair suppliers contact Meintjes & Neethling Orthopaedics Inc. We are ready to provide those living with CP with everything they may need, from therapy to supplies.