March is National Cerebral Palsy (CP) Awareness Month and Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare is one of the world’s leading centers for cerebral palsy diagnosis, treatment and research. We enhance the lives of individuals who have cerebral palsy and are advocates for CP patients and research.
Cerebral Palsy is a complex condition that can affect many parts of the body. It is usually diagnosed in early childhood and is a life-long condition. CP is caused by a brain injury or atypical brain development and affects mobility, balance and posture. Gillette has the best technology to diagnose and treat CP. Our testing includes; MRIs, EOS imaging, neurological assessments, and evaluations and screening at our Gillette Motor Delay Diagnosis and Treatment Clinic.
Gillette treats more than 4,000 children each year who have cerebral palsy. Despite the global COVID-19 pandemic, in 2020, Gillette performed 190 gait and motion analyses. Families come to Gillette because they know our James R. Gage Center for Gait and Motion Analysis is the first-ever to be accredited and is among the world’s best and busiest. Using innovative computer technology, motion analysis captures movements, muscle activity and forces that the eye cannot see. Once a child has their gait and motion analyzed a team of Gillette specialists meet to craft an individualized treatment plan tailored to each child.
Experts in SDR surgery
Gillette was the first hospital in Minnesota to perform selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) surgery to reduce spasticity. We’re experts in single-event multilevel surgery (SEMLS) to help with issues in a child’s muscles, bones and joints. We perform 81% of CP-related orthopedic surgeries in Minnesota and we treat all forms of cerebral palsy—including the most severe.
Our providers are driven to make discoveries to help all people who have cerebral palsy. For example, we designed, developed and patented the Gillette Prone Cart for children recovering from selective dorsal rhizotomy surgery. This is especially helpful to children who had rhizotomy surgery as they begin their six weeks of inpatient rehabilitation therapy. Spending time prone—lying flat on the stomach—can contribute to good surgical outcomes.
Gillette has expert providers and one of the largest group of physicians in rehabilitation medicine (PM&R) and the largest group of pediatric orthopedic surgeons in the upper Midwest. These doctors are highly trained and specialize in treating children who have cerebral palsy.
Strong post-surgical outcomes
Our post-surgical outcomes are strong, due in part, because we have one of the largest pediatric rehabilitation programs in the Upper Midwest. Gillette is just one of three pediatric specialty programs in Minnesota accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) to meet the needs of young children and adolescents seeking acute inpatient rehabilitation. Our rehab gym is impressive and has cutting-edge technology but our program truly shines because our therapists are experts at making hard work seem like play.
Sharing scientific research and knowledge
Gillette believes in scientific research and in sharing our knowledge with health care providers around the world. Our scientific research is often focused on cerebral palsy-specific topics including; long term treatment outcomes, the effectiveness of medications like botulinum toxin and phenol, intrathecal baclofen pump use and many other on-going studies.
A new book edited by Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare orthopedic surgeon, Tom Novacheck, MD, and clinical scientist, Michael Schwartz, PhD is intended to be a resource for health care providers and scientists to improve the lives of people who have cerebral palsy and mobility challenges. Improving Quality of Life for Individuals with Cerebral Palsy through Treatment of Gait Impairment International Cerebral Palsy Function and Mobility Symposium Clinics in Developmental Medicine, is meant to be a blueprint for the next five years of research and clinical care to help people who have cerebral palsy.
A book from Gillette Children’s Healthcare Press was written by Ireland-based author, Lily Collison, the mother of a Gillette patient who is now an adult. Spastic Diplegia—Bilateral Cerebral Palsy, combines Collison’s personal story with an empowering and evidence-based guide for living a full live with spastic diplegia, a form of cerebral palsy. Collison’s book was written with the help of Gillette experts and is aimed at providing families with a medically sound and understandable resource.
For about 125 years the doctors, nurses and employees at Gillette have worked every day to provide the very best care for all children. This dedication has led to treatments and outcomes that have influenced cerebral palsy care worldwide.
It’s Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month. All March, we are honoring and recognizing those who have cerebral palsy. Visit http://gillette.mn/weseecp regularly for the latest in patient care and innovation.