Types of Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a movement disorder and can be the result of a brain injury caused by medical negligence during your pregnancy, labor or delivery. There are several different types of cerebral palsy. The types are usually categorized by symptoms. When symptoms overlap, cerebral palsy is said to be a mixed type.

Athetoid Cerebral Palsy

The symptoms of athetoid cerebral palsy are involuntary and uncontrolled movements. The muscle groups might be too tense in places and too loose in other places. Out of all types of cerebral palsy, about 30 percent are athetoid. People with this type of cerebral palsy may find it difficult to walk or use their hands.

Ataxic Cerebral Palsy

Symptoms of ataxic cerebral palsy are poor coordination, balance problems, trouble with vision and difficulty walking. Another name for ataxic CP is hypotonic cerebral palsy. Children with this type of cerebral palsy walk with their feet far apart and may find it hard to be quick or precise. They have problems writing or buttoning clothes. Some children with this type of cerebral palsy experience “intention tremor.” An example of this type of tremor is quivering in the arm or hand when reaching for a book. As the child’s hand moves closer to the book, the shaking worsens.

Spastic Cerebral Palsy

Spastic cerebral palsy is the most common type of cerebral palsy. It affects 70 to 80 percent of patients. This type of cerebral palsy is further grouped by the muscles involved and how they are affected.

  • Spastic quadriplegia involves high muscle tone and impairs movement. Symptoms include tremors or jerking of the arms and legs. Many people with spastic quadriplegia will not walk. This is the most severe type of cerebral palsy.
  • Spastic diplegia impairs the legs but has minimal or no impairment of the arms. People with diplegia have difficulty walking. Hip problems are common.
  • Spastic hemiplegia means one side of the body is affected. The affected side of the body is opposite the injured side of the brain. For example, if the right side of the brain were injured, the left arm and leg would be affected.

The quality of the care, education and treatment for a child with any type of cerebral palsy contributes to whether the cerebral palsy prognosis will be severe or mild cerebral palsy. A child with severe CP may not be able to walk, speak or sit up. He will need ongoing care for life. A child with mild CP might be only slightly affected and require no special assistance.

Children with types of cerebral palsy need and deserve quality care. Caregiving for a child with CP can be expensive.  An experienced birth injury attorney can advise you about the costs. Improper medical care can be prevented. Taking action just might prevent it from happening again by the same medical team. Call a nurse case manager at Sokolove Law today for a free consultation.