Treatment methods

We accompany your child right from the start

The cerebral palsy treatment at Schoen Clinic is based on the age of the child and the severity of the impairment. The interdisciplinary treatment takes into account all existing health and functional disorders. Based on the individual clinical picture of the child as well as the expectations and goals of the child and his/her family, we develop an individual treatment concept and offer comprehensive therapy and care: from very early childhood to the transition to adult medicine. Our range of therapies covers the entire spectrum, from conservative and surgical to rehabilitative.

Conservative treatment methods

Cerebral palsy: Treatment and treatment planning

The basis of treatment and treatment planning is the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), established by the World Health Organization. It describes a health disorder in a biopsychosocial model. This allows all aspects of a disease to be recorded in full.

At the ICF level of structure and function, for example, the focus lies on increasing muscle strength, regulating muscle tone that is too high or too low, and improving joint mobility. This is achieved using physiotherapy and occupational therapy. All of the orthotics (“splints”) and the provision of aids also play a major role here. 
It may be necessary or advantageous to also apply drug or surgical procedures. Here at Schoen Clinic, we coordinate these measures precisely with each other. 

Prevention is important

The aspect of prophylaxis (prevention) should also not be neglected: Secondary joint damage, e.g. to the hip or spine, must be avoided, as this has a long-term negative impact on well-being, quality of life and functionality. 

At the level of activities and participation, the “big issues” are mobility (with and without aids), the use of arms and hands, self-sufficiency in everyday life, communication, learning and applying knowledge, interpersonal interactions and participation in community life. Therapies play a very important role here. 

The ICF also takes what are known as environmental factors into account. These can be based on the individual (e.g. motivation and endurance) or on his or her social environment. However, they also show themselves very specifically in the external conditions: How well-equipped for disabilities is the child’s nursery or school? We also intervene here if necessary: Our psychosocial team is well-trained for this and very experienced. 

Interdisciplinary cooperation

The treatment for a child with cerebral palsy is usually complex and requires the cooperation of several specialists. The starting point is always what is most important for the young patient and his or her family.  

We check both the child’s physical condition and the success of the treatment with standardised and high-quality examination instruments, which we select individually. This includes, for example, a three-dimensional gait analysis, which enables us to record highly complex functional disorders in detail and assess them medically. In addition, we use methods that include subjective perception and the patient’s perspective.

The goal is treatment that corrects or optimises existing functional disorders by exhausting all conservative and surgical options. The focus lies on the ability to act and activity in everyday life. Compensation strategies are also used if this is conducive to participation. 
This multidimensional approach allows us to achieve an improvement in condition for almost every patient. 

What must not be forgotten

Children and adolescents have an increased risk of accompanying illnesses, which sometimes even dominate their physical condition (e.g. epilepsy). The treatment team must be particularly attentive here. We have the necessary expertise for this at Schoen Clinic: we have the only paediatric facility in Germany that is recognised as both an epilepsy and rehabilitation centre.

Surgical treatment methods

Specific treatment approaches

Schoen Clinic offers all therapies that are suitable for a child with cerebral palsy at a high level and very comprehensively. Some specialised therapies are nationally recognised. They enable us to offer comprehensive diagnostics and therapy, even for difficult and complex disorders:
  • Intensive therapies for certain clinical pictures such as hemiparesis, aphasia and reduced mobility
  • Sonographically controlled injections of botulinum toxin to treat spastic and dystonic movement disorders 

Neurosurgical procedures

  • Implantations of drug pumps to reduce pathologically increased muscle tone  
  • Implantations of deep brain stimulation electrodes in patients with dystonia

Neuro-orthopaedic/paediatric orthopaedic surgical techniques

  • Soft tissue operations such as muscle incisions and muscle origin relocations as well as tendon extensions
  • Special expertise in what is known as the Ulzibat technique, a particularly gentle technique for the patient to dissolve connective tissue structures in the muscle and for muscle lengthening
  • Bone surgery such as the surgical correction of a hip joint dislocation or procedures for adjusting leg length differences