✓ Selective dorsal rhizotomy is a well-established surgical procedure for improving lower-extremity spasticity in children with cerebral palsy. The standard technique requires an L1–S1 laminectomy or laminoplasty for visualization of all dorsal nerve roots exiting at their respective foramina. The authors describe a rhizotomy procedure that requires a single-level laminectomy at the level of the conus, with the advantages of decreased operating time and postoperative pain as well as a minimal risk of progressive lumbar instability. This procedure is both effective and well tolerated in appropriately selected children and adults, and has had one cerebrospinal fluid lead requiring operative repair in more than 1500 patients treated at the authors' institution since 1991.
Tae Sung Park and James M. Johnston
Tae Sung Park
Tae Sung Park and Leland Albright
Donncha F. O'Brien and Tae Sung Park
✓ Selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) is an evidence-based treatment for cerebral palsy (CP) spasticity. During their lifetime, patients with CP spasticity may require orthopedic surgery for muscles and joints to correct physical deformities and provide a better quality of life. In this review, the authors discuss the timing of such orthopedic surgery, its necessity, and whether it is influenced by the performance of SDR. A review of findings from the authors' 19 years of experience yields the following conclusions: 1) that SDR reduces orthopedic surgery requirements when compared with historical controls; 2) that SDR performed in patients at a young age (2–4 years) can reduce future orthopedic surgery requirements; 3) that independent walkers and diplegic patients will have the smallest amount of orthopedic surgery post-SDR; and 4) that patients who need assistance walking and those with quadriplegia will have the greatest amount, although the frequency of orthopedic surgery for quadriplegic patients is not as high as popularly believed.