Cerebral Palsy

CerebralPalsy-DavidsAt Shriners Hospitals for Children – Northern California, we believe that every child deserves the brightest possible future. Children who are born with a disability require specialized care to allow them to rise to their highest potential. Our multi-disciplinary team of experts cares for children with cerebral palsy (CP), the most common cause of motor disability in children in North America and worldwide.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one in every 300 children is identified with cerebral palsy, a neurological disorder that affects a child’s coordination, balance, and ability to walk. Each child with cerebral palsy has a unique pattern of neurological involvement, some with barely noticeable differences and others with more significant disability.

Driven by excellence in all facets of care, Shriners Hospital is home to one of the largest cerebral palsy programs in Northern California.

Shriners Success Story


Meet Athena Johnson

Medical Concentration

  • Equinovalgus
  • Equinovarus – neuromuscular club foot
  • Femoral antiversion
  • Femoral valgus
  • Gait disorders
  • Hallux valgus – neuromuscular bunion
  • Hip dislocation
  • Hip subluxation
  • Pes Cavus – high arched foot
  • Planovalgus – neuromuscular flat foot
  • Scoliosis
  • Spasticity

The Cerebral Palsy Center of Excellence

Since cerebral palsy affects so many facets of a child’s life, we believe that bringing together services for these children into one center allows for complete care of the child. All children benefit from a comprehensive program that includes movement analysis, spasticity management, complex surgical care and rehabilitation. Our on-site team includes a musculoskeletal pediatrician, physical and occupational therapists, kinesiologists, and orthotists. Patients also benefit from clinical trials and scientific research led by doctors and scientists determined to improve outcomes for children diagnosed with cerebral palsy. All care takes place in a state-of-the-art medical center devoted exclusively to the medical needs of children.

Many children with cerebral palsy will have spasticity, or tight muscles, that make walking and balance more difficult.

The Medical Team

Jon R. Davids, M.D.
Assistant Chief of Orthopaedic Surgery
Director, Cerebral Palsy Center of Excellence
Medical Director, Motion Analysis Laboratory

Vedant Kulkarni, M.D.
Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon

Loren Davidson, M.D.
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Specialist
Medical Director, Spinal Cord Injury Program

Fatema L. Iqbal, M.D. M.S.
Musculoskeletal Pediatrician

Anita Bagley, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Co-Director, Movement Analysis Lab

Karen Howes, R.N., M.S.N., F.N.P.
Nurse Practitioner

Heather Davis, R.N., M.S.N., F.N.P.
Nurse Practitioner

Jason Montez, R.N.
Case Manager


The Center for Excellence in Cerebral Palsy actively engages in clinical research to improve outcomes for children with cerebral palsy. Physicians closely examine the results of cerebral palsy treatment through clinical outcome studies. The clinical research is complemented by scientific studies performed at the Institute of Pediatric Regenerative Medicine (IPRM), a joint project of Shriners Hospitals for Children and the University of California, Davis School of Medicine. Located inside the Northern California Shriners Hospital, the IPRM is home to an international team of scientists devoted to bringing discoveries from the research laboratory to the bedside. 

Patient Referral

916-453-2111 (Emergency Referral)
916-453-2395 (fax)

a graphic of some silhouettes of children playing