MEDICAL DIAGNOSTIC AND TREATMENT

Medical Diagnostic & Follow-Up Clinics

The diagnostic process is typically the first step in appropriately addressing the needs of children with Cerebral Palsy and their families. Currently there are two avenues for families in Central Illinois to pursue diagnostic services. First, the Regional Diagnostic Clinic provides diagnostic and follow-up services for children who were born prematurely and are at high risk for complications following birth. Second, the University Cerebral Palsy Clinic is comprised of a team of specialists including a developmental pediatrician, pediatric neurologist, orthopedic surgeon and physical therapist. The team consults with skilled practitioners to address orthotic and assistive technology needs. Children followed in the CP clinic receive diagnosis and treatment planning to promote optimal function.

Spasticity Management

Because many children with cerebral palsy present with increased tone and spasticity, management is critical for improved function. There are a number of options to address spasticity to affect each child’s impairments, and subsequent limitations.

Treatment can involve medications such as diazepam or baclofen to help reduce muscle spasticity.  These can be prescribed in pill form or compounded into a liquid solution.

Botox injections to specific muscle groups result in decreased spasticity for an average of three to six months.  Botox can be used independently or in conjunction with casting and splinting to promote increased functional range of motion in a shortened muscle group.

Intrathecal Baclofen is a systemic option to manage spasticity in which a pump is surgically implanted into the abdomen of the patient, delivering baclofen to the intrathecal space in the spinal cord.

Surgical Intervention options also include selective dosal rhizotomy in which nerve roots are separated and cut to limit the effects of spastic muscles, or orthopedic surgery.

Medical Coordination

Medical coordination is critical as children with CP grow and change. A Diagnostic Coordinator under the direction of Dr. Andrew Morgan and Dr. Sally Jo Winek ensure all medical services are coordinated, and that Clinic physicians have needed information from specialists and school therapists to make informed decisions about each child’s care.