What is Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral Palsy is a physical disability caused by permanent and irreversible but non-progressive damage to the area of the brain which is responsible for controlling motor functions like walking and co-ordination. Diplegia indicates that the parts of the body which are affected Kate’s legs. Spastic means that the muscles are contracting abnormally. They are tight and stiff . This is why Kate has an abnormal walking pattern and poor balance.

Although the brain damage is non-progressive, the effects spasticity has on the body get worse with time. As Kate ages, the spasticity will increase, resulting in further stiffness and /or tightness to the muscles in both of her legs. Eventually, she will lose her ability to walk as the spasticity takes hold of her legs.

What causes CP?

CP is caused by brain damage which happens before, during or shortly after birth. There are different causes such as lack of oxygen, trauma, or infections. Kate was born 3 and a 1/2 months premature at 26 weeks of gestation. She was born by emergency C-Section and suffered a lack of oxygen at birth.

Can CP be cured?

There is no cure for CP. The only treatment options (stretching, physiotherapy, muscle relaxant drugs, botox injections, orthopaedic surgery) can help manage the spasticity and its effects on the body, but the spasticity remains. Thankfully however, there is a surgical procedure called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) which can help reduce or eliminate the spasticity permanently.