CHICAGO — Orthotic intervention that avoids the complete immobilization of a child with cerebral palsy yields positive outcomes, according to a speaker here.
The key to improving the lives of these children is to prevent them from being posturally immobilized in their wheelchairs, Robert Meier, CO, BOCO, director of education for Allard USA, said at a company-sponsored workshop at the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium.
“The data support that, as orthotists, we can control the orthotic environment, which will have a direct influence on the level of muscle hyperactivity,” Meier said. “We can’t blindly put the same fixed posture all the time and expect the optimal outcome.”
To affect this change in patients with cerebral palsy (CP), he suggested applying a simple hip orthosis, like new technology invented by a parent who altered the orthotic intervention imposed on his daughter. This concerned father applied the theories of refracting light — from his own ophthalmologic background — to readjust the hip’s pathway of motion, Meier said.
Applying this minor change in orthotic treatment provides the children with the support to decrease the fear of falling and helps them find their center posture, easing many of the spastic movements typical in patients with CP, Meier said.