ComplicationsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Muscle weakness, muscle spasticity and coordination problems can contribute to a number of complications either during childhood or later during adulthood:
- Contracture. Contracture is the shortening of muscle tissue due to severe tightening of the muscle (spasticity). Contracture can inhibit bone growth, cause bones to bend, and result in joint deformities, dislocation or partial dislocation.
- Malnutrition. Swallowing or feeding problems can make it difficult for someone who has cerebral palsy, particularly an infant, to get enough nutrition.
- Depression. Social isolation and the challenges of coping with disabilities can contribute to depression.
- Premature aging. People with cerebral palsy often experience medical conditions in middle age that are more commonly associated with older age. Such premature aging can result from significant stress on the body and poorly developed heart, lungs or other organs that may not function at a typical capacity.
- Post-impairment syndrome. This condition is characterized by pain, fatigue and weakness resulting from stresses on the body, movements to compensate for disabilities and the significant exertion of energy needed for everyday functions.
- Osteoarthritis. Pressure on joints or abnormal alignment of joints from muscle spasticity may result in the early development of painful degenerative bone disease (osteoarthritis).
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