About 800,000 people in the United States, both children and adults, have at least one symptom of cerebral palsy, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). The symptoms that a patient has depends on the type of cerebral palsy. For example, a patient who has spastic cerebral palsy can have an abnormal walk, very tight muscles and muscle weakness. Patients with cerebral palsy may develop complications, which can affect several areas of the body.
Complications of cerebral palsy can affect patients' bones, which may restrict their movement. For example, patients may develop osteoporosis, a condition in which bone density is lost over time. MedlinePlus noted that one in five women in the United States over age 50 suffer from this condition. In the late stage of osteoporosis, patients can have bone pain, loss of height, bone fractures and stooped posture. Cerebral palsy may also develop osteoarthritis. If patients suffer from contracture, in which their muscle tissue becomes shorter as a result of severe tightening, the MayoClinic.com noted that it can result in joint deformities and dislocations. Other bone-related complications of cerebral palsy include hip dislocation and scoliosis, which is curving of the spine. Patients may also sustain injuries from falling.
In some patients, neurological and cognitive complications may occur. For example, some patients may have problems with communication skills. In those cases, patients may benefit from speech therapy, in which they can develop methods of communication. In about 50 percent of patients, seizures may occur, according to MedlinePlus.