Physical therapy with Jeevam Therapy can be an important part of overcoming the challenges of Vacterl syndrome. Children with the congenital defects associated with VACTERL often require multiple surgeries. Early physical therapy can help your child’s body prepare for these operations as well as assist with a smooth recovery.
What is Vacterl Syndrome?
“VACTERL” is an acronym for a group of congenital birth defects that can appear simultaneously. The condition is extremely rare, affecting somewhere between one out of 10,000 to 40,000 children statistically. Although the cause of the defects is unknown, the fact that the various symptoms appear simultaneously suggests that it is not random. Researchers have determined that women with diabetes are more likely to give birth to a baby with Vacterl syndrome.
The symptoms associated with the condition often require surgical correction. Some of the symptoms cannot be corrected, so the patient will have to learn to adjust their lifestyle accordingly. The good news is that Vacterl syndrome does not affect brain development, so patients with the condition are able to live independent lives despite their physical challenges.
Symptoms of Vacterl Syndrome
The acronym describes the list of symptoms itself:
- Vertebral defects
- Anal atresia
- Cardiac malformations
- Tracheo-Esophageal Fistula (TEF)
- Radial and Renal dysplasia
- Limb anomalies
Not all people with Vacterl syndrome will have all of these symptoms present. At least three of those conditions must be present for a clinical diagnosis of Vacterl syndrome to be made. Sometimes the symptoms of Vacterl syndrome are obvious at birth, but some symptoms are only discovered later by the parents (such as a baby not having a tailbone), or when the child becomes older and displays signs of cardiac malformations.
One thing that we want to make clear is that no matter how mild or severe your child’s Vacterl diagnosis may be, the caring and compassionate staff at Jeevam Therapy can help your child enjoy a better quality of life through physical therapy.
How Physical Therapy Can Help with Vacterl Syndrome
Every child with Vacterl syndrome faces unique challenges, so the course of physical therapy recommended will vary on a case-by-case basis. Your first appointment at Jeevam Therapy will involve lots of discussion about your child’s diagnosis and challenges, along with some mild tests. Once we know the specific issues your child is facing and have assessed them with some simple strength, balance and other tests, we will be able to design a tailor-made physical therapy regimen for them.
Physical therapy can help a child strengthen their body and immune system in preparation for surgery, in addition to helping with pain management and recovery after an operation. Working with a physical therapist can also help with body mechanics, posture and other physical challenges your child faces. The goal is to help your child enjoy life to the fullest, despite their disability.
We Are Here for You
Jeevam Therapy is located in Edison and Paramus, NJ and is ready to help if your child has been diagnosed with Vacterl syndrome. Our practice specializes in working with children who face unique challenges (and their parents), so please reach out to schedule an appointment today!