There are times when surgery may be considered to improve ambulation, correct or prevent debilitating deformities, improve functioning levels, control pain, enhance appearance, or improve caregiver functions.
For those with Cerebral Palsy, orthopedic surgeries are common, but they're not the only types of surgery that may be required in the life of a person who has Cerebral Palsy.
When surgery is warranted, physicians want to minimize physical impairments and movement barriers as much as possible. The goal of orthopedic surgery is to create the ideal functional use of extremities while improving the individual’s ambulation with or without adaptive equipment. Some goals of orthopedic surgery include:
• Loosen tight or stiff muscles
• Correct curvatures
• Compensate uneven growth
• Sever nerve roots
• Correct limb positioning
• Facilitate sitting, walking, and hand use
• Reduce spasticity
• Minimize tremors
While orthopedic reasons for surgery can be numerous, some opt for surgery to improve functionality and use it to address feeding difficulties, bowel and bladder challenges, ensure joint stability, correct spinal curvatures, or minimize drooling, for example. Some may wish to decrease chronic pain levels. Others may elect surgery for appearance, hygiene or caregiver reasons. This may involve improvements in gait, standing, bracing, aligning bite, or improving the appearance of a smile.