According to United Cerebral Palsy there are about 764,000 Americans living with cerebral palsy.  Cerebral Palsy is a group of disorders caused by an injury or abnormal development in the brain that likely occurred before birth or as a young child.  This complex disorder can affect muscle tone, motor skills, vision and hearing as well as the ability to learn and think.
Orthotics are frequently used in the management of many of the ambulatory problems associated with cerebral palsy. An orthotic is a brace or splint used to support the body and correct or prevent deformities. Orthotics can assist cerebral palsy patients in everyday activities such as sitting, standing, walking and crawling. They can also help to correct or prevent deformity.
Ankle foot orthoses (AFOs) is a type of orthotic device commonly prescribed to help patients with spastic cerebral palsy cope with abnormal plantar flexion.  They do this by eliminating motion at the ankle and subtalar the result is improved gait.  Unfortunately these “boot like” braces can be uncomfortable so it is important to work with an experienced Michigan orthotist to select the correct size, style and material to allow for optimal comfort.
The SWASH is an orthosis that dramatically improves mobility for a child living with cerebral palsy. SWASH stands for standing, walking and sitting hip.  This brace system is designed to support cerebral palsy patients by stabilizing the hip and providing pressure to guide the upper thighs in the proper position, narrower while walking and wider to allow for balance while sitting.
Another tool that may be utilized to assist mobility for cerebral palsy patients is the Bioness NESS L300, which employs a new technology that improves foot drop.  Foot drop is characterized by the patient’s inability to sufficiently lift the front of their foot while walking and can be a symptom of cerebral palsy.  The NESS L300 created by Bioness triggers the muscles responsible for lifting the foot by sending a low-level electrical signal to the peroneal nerve that controls them.