Assessment and treatment of movement disorders in children with cerebral palsy

Orthop Clin North Am. 2010 Oct;41(4):507-17. doi: 10.1016/j.ocl.2010.06.001.


Cerebral palsy is the most common motor disability in childhood. Orthopedic care depends on the appreciation and the identification of muscle tone abnormalities and how they affect growth and development of the child. Abnormal muscle tone is a common diagnostic feature of cerebral palsy and can include hypotonia or hypertonia. Hypertonia is the most frequent tone abnormality in children with cerebral palsy. This article reviews hypertonia and provides information on discriminating between spasticity, dystonia, and rigidity. Medication and neurosurgical options for the management of hypertonia are presented and compared.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Palsy / complications*
  • Cerebral Palsy / physiopathology
  • Child
  • Drug Administration Routes
  • GABA Modulators / administration & dosage
  • GABA Modulators / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Movement Disorders* / epidemiology
  • Movement Disorders* / etiology
  • Movement Disorders* / therapy
  • Neuromuscular Agents / administration & dosage
  • Neuromuscular Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / methods*
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • GABA Modulators
  • Neuromuscular Agents