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Spastic Cerebral Palsy

What Is Spastic Cerebral Palsy?

Doctors have many ways of classifying cerebral palsy. Some classify it based on severity level (a child could have mild, moderate or severe CP) or the parts of the body it affects, while others use a motor function classification system.

Spastic cerebral palsy falls under the latter classification system. Spastic cerebral palsy causes increased muscle tone/stiffness in the limbs.

Spasticity and CP

Nearly 80 percent of children with cerebral palsy have some form of spastic cerebral palsy. Damage to the part of the brain that controls muscle tone prevents it from controlling how flexible a muscle should be.

In a person without spastic cerebral palsy, nerves in the brain work with sensory nerve fibers (nerves running from the muscle to the spinal cord) to dictate how a muscle should move. In children with spastic cerebral palsy, the nerves from the brain are affected and the sensory nerve fibers control movement. What results is a number of symptoms, including:

  • Tight, inflexible muscles
  • Muscle weakness
  • Paralysis
  • Tight joints/joint contracture
  • Abnormal gait, including scissoring
  • Gastro esophageal problems

Children can exhibit these symptoms as young as 3 months old.

What Can I Do if My Child Has Cerebral Palsy?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for CP. There are, however, treatments that can help your child become more independent. Treatment can involve multiple practitioners (including social workers, primary care doctors, therapists and neurologists) and focus on many aspects of a child's development, from nutrition to physical exercises. Children can also take medications such as muscle relaxants to help them with their spasticity. For some children, surgery may be necessary to control gastro esophageal issues and reduce pain.

While many treatments for CP are covered by insurance, some are not. If your child's cerebral palsy was caused by birth complications, it may be possible to bring a birth injury lawsuit to recover compensation for your child's injuries and past, current and future treatments.

Speak With a Birth Injury Attorney

At Silvers, Langsam & Weitzman, P.C., our birth injury team is dedicated to helping parents understand their children's spastic cerebral palsy and the legal options they have to help those children receive the support they need now and in the future.

To discuss your birth injury case with our legal and medical team, contact our Philadelphia office. We serve clients in Pennsylvania and across the U.S.


Located in Philadelphia, Silvers, Langsam & Weitzman, P.C., home of MyPhillyLawyer, serves clients in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, and throughout the United States.

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