May also be called: Spastic Diplegia; Infantile Diplegia
Diplegia (dy-PLEE-juh) is a form of paralysis that affects similar body parts on
both sides of the body, such as both legs or both arms.
More to Know
Diplegia is a condition that causes stiffness, weakness, or lack of mobility in
muscle groups on both
sides of the body. This usually involves the legs, but in some people the arms and
face also might be affected.
Diplegia is most often associated with cerebral
palsy (CP), a neurological disorder that affects body movements and muscle coordination,
although some cases have other causes, such as a traumatic injury or infection.
Spastic diplegia is the most common form of CP. People with this condition usually
have difficulty walking and may require a walker or leg braces. Spastic diplegia that
affects the upper body can limit someone's ability to move their arms, hands, and
fingers and can make grasping objects difficult. There is no cure for spastic diplegia,
but it doesn't get worse over time. Treatment typically involves therapy, medication,
surgery, or braces to help improve muscle function.
Diplegia is different from paraplegia, which is paralysis of the legs only; quadriplegia, which is paralysis
of all four limbs; and hemiplegia, which is paralysis on one side of the body.
Keep in Mind
Although spastic diplegia can make walking and other motions difficult, kids with
this condition usually have normal intelligence and language skills. With the right
treatment and therapy, many kids with spastic diplegia can have a quality of life
similar to other children.
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