Cerebral paralysis is not an illness. It is a condition which is the result of early brain damage of the central nervous system, which causes disturbances in movement. This is further enhanced by the following
statement: "We are not sick. We only have a physical handicap and we have the right to live, work, sport, recreation, to make love, and to enjoy all the beautiful things life brings, like all other people".
The team for cerebral paralysis at the hospital managed to diagnose cerebral paralysis in children at the age of six months, whereas in the past this diagnosis was made at the age of four years. This is a great achievement which the team is very proud of.
Early treatment of cerebral paralysis in children is carried out using Bobat's method of neurophysiotherapy. For children of pre-school age corrective plaster boots below the knee are used in the course of two to three weeks. We use these to reduce spasm of muscle structure of lower extremities. Surgical interventions are also used: transposition of adductor muscles (transposition of muscles which bring the hips closer), elongation of the flexor knee muscles (elongation of the muscles that bend the knee), extension of the shortened tendon of Achilles, etc.
It is a good thing that the Centre for Cerebral Paralysis is at the Orthopaedic hospital, where the children can be treated at the policlinic, and hospitalized if it is necessary to carry out any necessary surgical interventions.
A large number of the treated children show that the cerebral paralysis program is justified. The parents are also satisfied with the treatment of their children and the results accomplished at the Centre for Cerebral Paralysis at the hospital.
Effects of the application of modern methods (Bobat) in treatment of children with early brain damage are the following:
• early detection and early beginning of treatment. Team work allowed early treatment to begin eight times earlier (from 48 months to 6 months,) while modern science tells us that if treatment begins after 12 months, invalidity in children is huge and hopeless;
• rationalization of medical care. Early detection enables minimal expenses allotted to medical care. If only one case is not detected in the first 12 months, he will be a patient for almost his entire life and there will be huge expenses;
• efficient treatment was accomplished through education of team staff, while the opening of the most advanced department provided ideal working conditions (rooms for Bobat exercises, rooms for vocational therapy, and ideal conditions for parent education in single and double bedrooms).
This success is owed to the successful collaboration with: the Pediatric, Neuropsychiatric, and Orthopaedic Clinics in Skopje. The university clinical centre in Ljubljana, and collaboration with Oxford (Novles Jones), with Ray Johnson from London, and with the president, Prof. Ari Klapvajk from Holland.