Improving Care For Cerebral Palsy Patients
Orthotist play a key role in the treatment of cerebral palsy (CP)- the most commonly diagnosed childhood motor disability-and can benefit from working in collaboration with the orthopedic surgeons, nurse practitioners, and therapists.
About two-thirds of CP patients have the ability to walk and ambulate, but the vast majority of these patients require orthoses to provide a stable base for movement and establish a gait that is meaningful. Orthotists play an essential role in treating the significant patient population, as orthoses helo build stability while increasing strength, comfort, and independence. Orthoses can be used to relieve several conditions, including knee or hip subluxation or dislocation, spastic movement, low-tone pronation, high-tone pronation, swing-phase inconsistency, drop foot, eversion, and more.
Treatment protocols are evolving, with many patients prescribed orthoses in combination with medications, neurotoxins, and surgery. Understanding the latest treatment protocols and the benefits of interdisciplinary approaches can help orthotists optimize their roles in the care of CP patients.