The Fitzpatrick household is a busy place. Kim and her husband, Andy, are the proud parents to two children, Aidan and Keira. The eldest of their two children, Aidan, is like many young boys his age and enjoys going to school and participating in cooking class, music or art class.
You can even find him floating in the pool or horseback riding on a nice day! However, what makes Aidan’s participation in these activities so unique is that he is doing so while living his life with cerebral palsy (CP).
During Aidan’s birthing process, there was a complication from lack of oxygen to his brain. The lack of oxygen to his brain created abnormal development that led to CP. The term “cerebral” means having to do with the brain and “palsy” means weakness or problems with using the muscles. CP is most common among children and directly affects a person’s ability to control his or her muscles.
Frequently when children develop CP, there are unfortunately other health issues that follow. When Aidan was only three months old, he developed an infection in his right knee known as osteomyelitis. Osteomyelitis most commonly affects the long bones in children’s arms and legs. The infection reaches the bones either through the bloodstream or through the surrounding tissue.
Kim and Andy sought out the help of OrthoIndy because of their reputation with exceptional care in bone, joint, spine and muscle care. The Fitzpatrick’s met OrthoIndy physician, Dr. Carlos Berrios, who specializes in pediatrics. They knew he was the right man to take care of Aidan. “Dr. Berrios listened to us. He always took Aidan’s condition into consideration and did what was best for him and our family, not just treating the injured knee,” said Kim.
After Aidan’s first surgery to correct the osteomyelitis, Dr. Berrios noticed that the growth plate in the same knee had stopped growing. The growth plate consists of cartilage that will gradually harden into bone and is most important during childhood for the growth of bones. Dr. Berrios performed a surgery on his knee to correct the problem. After awhile Aidan began to also have complications with his growth plate in his right knee. Kim and Andy decided to have Dr. Berrios perform surgery to stop the growth plates in both knees.“It was a personal decision for us to agree to this surgery,” said Kim. “The first method stopped working and the likelihood of Aidan walking was minimal. If only one growth plate was working it would have made it uncomfortable for him.”
One treatment option in orthopedics for those suffering with CP and muscle spasticity is botulinum toxin therapy, or Botox. The use of Botox injections for Aidan helps calm down painful muscle spasms and allows him to participate in other types of treatment such as physical therapy to help restore biomechanical balances. The medicine blocks neuromuscular junctions and can relax the muscles up to six months or longer.
Not only have the Botox injections helped Aidan’s muscles, but it has allowed him to enjoy life as a child. Aidan attends school in Zionsville and attends St. Vincent Pediatric Rehab for therapy. Through St. Vincent, he has been able to attend Morning Dove Therapeutic Riding Inc. for hippotherapy. Aidan is able to ride on a pony assisted by his therapist and a volunteer. Riding the horse helps increase head and trunk control and improves balance and coordination.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Berrios please call 317.802.2847 or learn more about cerebral palsy and how an orthopedic doctor can help.
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