Botox for Cerebral Palsy Treatment

Botox can be very beneficial for a child who has spastic cerebral palsy. Botox (botulinum toxin) is a medication that can be injected directly into spastic muscles to reduce high tone (tightness) in that particular muscle. Botox doses vary depending on which muscle is being treated and how severe the tightness is.

How Can Botox Help With Cerebral Palsy?

Botox treatment (BTX) is a common method of treating mild to moderate cerebral palsy. BTX (or botulinum toxin, commonly known as Botox) helps reduce overly-high muscle tone and stiffness, helping those with cerebral palsy move more freely.

What Should Happen Before Botox is Used for Cerebral Palsy?

Before Botox therapy begins, it is important that a multidisciplinary team of specialists completes a full evaluation of a child’s range of motion, taking into account factors that include range of motion, strength, motor control, muscle tone and general function.

How is Botox for Cerebral Palsy Administered?

Various muscles can be injected with BTX at once, although in young children this may require brief anesthetizing. While it is possible to treat diffuse hypertonia with BTX by targeting several muscle groups, ideal treatment focuses only on two or three muscles at a time. Research shows that this treatment is most effective in children under the age of four, as this is when children’s growing musculoskeletal and nervous systems are most plastic (malleable).

How Long Does Botox Therapy for Cerebral Palsy Last?

Most kids notice improvement within a few days after the injections. The treatment is comparatively long-lasting, with a single injection working for approximately three months (though some estimates place the range at between three to eight months, and others at 12 weeks). This is usually a good time for serial casting and range of motion therapy. Over time, the effectiveness of the Botox injections seems to decrease.

Is Botox Safe?

The particular advantage of using BTX is the medication’s safety: it very rarely has central nervous system side effects and is completely reversible. It is, however, very localized – the effectiveness of the drug is limited to just the muscles it is injected into, making it unsuitable for individuals with very severe spasticity.

What Kind of Follow-up is Needed After a Child Has Botox Injections for Cerebral Palsy?

Once the injections have been administered, the child should undergo a follow-up appointment after six to eight weeks. The drug is most effective after 6-8 weeks and doctors can determine whether or not the treatment was effective and whether the dosage needs to be adjusted based on the child’s response to the original dose.

Are There Alternatives to Botox?

Phenol blocks are a type of injection similar to Botox injections, but this treatment is not frequently used to treat cerebral palsy anymore. Phenol blocks have been used for the past 20 years, but the medication has certain disadvantages when compared with Botox. The injections are quite painful, and they may cause muscle tenderness for several days. There is also a small amount of permanent muscle damage caused by the injections. As a result, Botox is currently more commonly used than phenol blocks, as it is safer and much less painful. However, Phenol blocks last longer and are more precise than Botox, and they may be the treatment of choice in some cases, especially for large muscle groups.

Disclaimer: This page is intended solely as an educational tool for parents. It is not intended as – and should not be mistaken for – medical advice. If you have any medical concerns about your pregnancy – such as bleeding during pregnancy- please seek medical attention immediately. Cerebral palsy is a condition that must be evaluated and treated by a medical professional.

Michigan Cerebral Palsy Lawyers Helping Families Nationwide

Treating cerebral palsy can be difficult, expensive, and time-consuming. Medical negligence-related errors are preventable, and children who have been diagnosed with a birth injury deserve just compensation. The lawyers at ABC Law Centers: Birth Injury Lawyers (Reiter & Walsh, P.C.) focus exclusively on handling birth injury and cerebral palsy cases caused by medical error.

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