Spasticity, which may occur due to brain damage or genetic features during childbirth, is a health problem affecting the living standards of patients. So much so that spastic patients can sometimes lose their ability to sit, sleep or even talk. Neurosurgery from the Department of Neurosurgery of Istanbul Training and Research Hospital, Ministry of Health. Halit Togay gives information about the application of Baclofen Pump which is one of the treatment methods which has been used in recent years.
Although spasticity is usually caused by brain damage during childbirth, it is a health problem that can occur in some cases for genetic reasons. It may also be the result of spasticity, MS or spinal cord injuries, which may also be caused by a number of infectious diseases such as cerebral hemorrhage, cerebrovascular occlusion, and memengitis.
Spasticity affecting the movement system does not always cause mental retardation in patients. Most spastic patients may be normal or even gifted. In spastic patients, the muscles remain muscular, and in some cases, the person may remain stationary even in sleep.
: How to detect spasticity during labor?
Dentist Onur Ozturk: If the mother takes care of the baby from birth, the physician will examine this between routine examinations and intervene in the event of a reversal. Therefore, mothers should take their children to a doctor regularly. For early diagnosis, if the baby's arms and legs are harder on one side, difficulty opening and closing or less mobile, a doctor should be consulted.
Spastic children may have problems with arms, legs, or both, depending on the location of spasticity. Sometimes speech difficulties can be seen. Sometimes children cannot even sit in a sitting position because of spasticity. Sometimes contracted back muscles cause the patient's back to remain in a bump or pit position, not allowing these patients to sleep.
: Could you tell us about spasticity cases after cerebral and spinal cord paralysis?
Dentist Onur Ozturk: Spasticity develops a few months after stroke in cases of stroke caused by the brain. This may also be beneficial to the patient in one aspect. For example, a paralyzed arm cannot be used at all, but with a cramped arm it is possible to meet certain needs. However, spasticity occurring in spinal cord paralysis is a very challenging factor in care and treatment.
: How is spasticity treatment performed?
Dentist Onur Ozturk: In mild cases, the patient is relieved by administering muscle relaxants. In severe cases, if we develop permanent muscle shortening and ligament shortening we call contracture, the muscle is lengthened or cut with orthopedic procedures. If oral medications have become useless during permanent shortening, a baclofen pump is applied to deliver baclofen into the spinal cord. The baclofen pump consists of a reservoir placed between the skin and muscle and a tube from there into the spinal fluid. These pumps are available in two types: mechanical oscillating and electric. If an electric pump is used, it is necessary to replace the battery when it is exhausted. This treatment works better in adult patients. Mechanical pumps do not need to be replaced, but the drug has a disadvantage that the release rate can not be adjusted. In this case, the concentration of the drug filled into the pump is changed. Filling the pump is done with an external needle. In electric pumps, the adjustment is made with a magnetic tool held outside the skin. The battery is usually replaced every 7-8 years. In some patients, well-being can continue even after the pump has been removed.
: Is full recovery in spasticity possible?
Dentist Onur Ozturk: Spasticity is a difficult and slow health problem. However, small and slow improvements have been a serious sum over the years. For example, a patient who cannot sit can sit, and a person who cannot walk can walk. Support should be sought from physical therapy and rehabilitation specialists. Thus, many improvements can be made to improve the quality of life of the patient.