Surgery is not always necessary, but it is sometimes recommended to improve muscle development, correct contractures, and reduce spasticity in the legs. Before selecting any surgical procedure, make sure the doctor thoroughly discusses the risks involved, long-term effects and postoperative follow-up. Also, always get a second opinion and speak with other parents whose children have had the same surgical procedure.
Children with cerebral palsy often walk on their toes. This may indicate a tight heel cord. When other treatments for this fail, such as splints and braces, surgery may help correct it by lengthening the tendon. This surgery may help improve the child's ability to walk, improve balance, and prevent further deformity. Surgery is also available to relieve spasticity in the legs and hips of children. This surgery involves identifying sensory nerve fibers behind the spinal cord, and then selectively cutting those nerve fibers to reduce spasticity. Research on this surgery is still being conducted. The adductors are muscle groups that bring the legs together. If a child's physician determines that the adductors are causing deformities or problems with walking, he or she may suggest a surgical procedure to cut the tendon, which can release muscle contractures and improve mobility. Again, surgery may not always be necessary, but in many instances it can help a child with cerebral palsy achieve his or her optimal level of functioning.
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