Birth Injuries and Spastic Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is among the most common movement disorders in the United States. Around two to three children for every 1,000 babies develop cerebral palsy. Damage to the developing brain before, during, or even after birth can cause this motor disorder.
Different types of cerebral palsy can occur in children, the most common of which is spastic cerebral palsy. Dealing with spasticity can be a lifelong burden. If it comes from a birth injury, it’s a much more disappointing damage to deal with forever.
Understanding Spastic Cerebral Palsy
There are three types of movement and brain-related injuries that qualify as cerebral palsy. These are spastic cerebral palsy, athetoid CP, and ataxic CP. In spastic cerebral palsy, the muscles feel stiff, and movements become rigid and jerky.
This spasticity is a form of hypertonia or an increase in muscle tone. This issue can cause movement to be very challenging, if not outright impossible. The muscles will appear jerky because the signals that the brain sends are wrong. These signals can come from a specific part of a damaged brain.
A potential cause of spastic CP is a birth injury. Many children who develop spastic cerebral palsy had injuries on their developing brains upon birth. The possible causes can be many different things.
Birth Injury Can Cause Spastic Cerebral Palsy
For one, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy can happen. HIE occurs when a baby’s brain does not receive a sufficient amount of oxygen and blood. It is one of the most serious birth injuries out there and occurs in 2% of all children born.
Together with HIE, a common cause of spasticity is a maternal infection that comes from the mother and travels to the baby. This problem can cause sepsis, the body’s severe reaction to infection, or meningitis – the inflammation of the protective covering of the brain.
Potential brain hemorrhages can also happen during delivery. If medical practitioners use forceps or vacuum extractors during the delivery, it can cause damage. The brain can bleed and cause cerebral palsy.
Other causes of HIE, hemorrhage, and infection include: