Selective dorsal rhizotomy in cerebral palsy to improve functional abilities: Evaluation of criteria for selection

P. E M van Schie*, R. Jeroen Vermeulen, W. J R van Ouwerkerk, Gert Kwakkel, Jules G. Becher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study is to evaluate the effect of selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) on functional abilities in a well-defined group of ambulatory children with spastic diplegia.

METHODS: Nine children were selected for SDR (mean age 65 months, range 43-82 months). Gross motor function was measured with the Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM-88). Self-care was assessed with the Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory (PEDI) and gait pattern was measured with the Edinburgh Visual Gait Score (EGS). There were nine single-case research designs with a 12-month follow-up after surgery.

RESULTS: After 12 months the mean improvement in the total GMFM-88 scores was 8.8%. On an individual level, all patients improved significantly in comparison with baseline. Functional skills and care-giver assistance measured with the PEDI showed significant improvement. Improvement in gait was also found; in particular, better initial contact and heel-lift resulted in an increased EGS.

CONCLUSION: In this well-defined group of ambulatory children SDR had a small but significant positive effect on gross motor function, self-care and gait pattern.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-457
Number of pages7
JournalChild's Nervous System
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2005

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