Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a neurological disorder that appears in infancy or early childhood and permanently affects a person’s ability to control movement and maintain posture or balance. It affects the cerebral cortex, which is the outer layer of the brain which directs muscle movement. Cerebral palsy can be caused by abnormal brain development or by an injury at birth. The physical effects of CP can vary. For some, the effect on mobility and balance might be mild, while others with severe CP may not be able to walk at all and will need lifelong care. Cerebral palsy is not a progressive disorder, which means it does not get worse over time. However, it is permanent and may require a lifetime of physical therapies to help with symptoms.

Causes of Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is caused when the parts of the brain that control movement are damaged either before, during or after birth. While some children diagnosed with CP are born with it, there are other factors that could lead to a disruption in brain development during and after birth. Maternal infections can affect a developing fetus and certain infant infections can cause inflammation in and around the brain. A severe lack of oxygen in the brain due to a traumatic or difficult birth can lead to hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. This type of brain damage kills the tissue of the cerebral cortex and has a dramatic affect on a child’s ability to move and maintain balance. Medical negligence can also contribute to head injuries at birth and can lead to cerebral palsy. When tools like forceps or a vacuum extraction tool are used incorrectly it can lead to brain injuries for the baby.


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Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy

Since there are varying degrees and types of cerebral palsy, a definitive CP diagnosis usually isn’t made until a child is over two years old. However, there are some signs and symptoms that may indicate an infant may have CP. An early indicator that a child may have cerebral palsy is developmental delays in which a child doesn’t meet developmental milestones by a designated age. These developmental milestones are skills that most children can do by a specific age like learning to roll over, sitting, crawling and even walking. The following are some potential warning signs of cerebral palsy, but parents should note that children without CP may also exhibit these signs.

In a Baby Younger than 6 Months of Age:

  • His/her head lags when you pick him up while he’s lying on his back
  • He/she feels stiff
  • He/she feels floppy
  • When you pick him/her up, his/her legs cross or scissor

In a Baby Older than 6 months of Age:

  • He/she doesn’t roll over in either direction
  • He/she cannot bring her hands together
  • He/she has difficulty bringing his/her hands to her mouth
  • He/she reaches out with only one hand while keeping the other fisted

In a Baby Older than 10 Months of Age:

  • He/she crawls in a lopsided manner, pushing off with one hand and leg while dragging the opposite hand and leg
  • He/she cannot stand while holding onto support

Are You Eligible for a Birth Injury Lawsuit?

Our Team is committed to seeking justice for those affected by a birth injury. Getting you and your child the compensation you deserve to pay for items like long term care, medical treatments, therapies, medications, and assistive equipment is our top priority. We are here to help make that process as simple as possible for you and your family. Call us now at 1-800-609-2759 for a FREE consultation. Don’t wait; your time to file a claim may be limited.