Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy is a neurological surgery that is used to reduce spasticity in children with certain types of Cerebral Palsy. At The Children's Hospital this procedure is performed by a Pediatric Neurosurgeon.  The selection process for this surgery is a team decision, primarily made in our Spasticity Clinic.  The team members in this clinic include neurology, neurosurgery, physiatry, othopedics and physical therapy. Once candidacy is determined, a child must have an evaluation by a Physical Therapist and an Occupational Therapist to assess range of motion of joints, strength, spasticity, motor skills, gait, self-care activities, equipment and parent goals for the child.

Physical therapy begins day 1 after sugery.  An intensive regime of physical therapy and occupational therapy continues for several months post-surgery to ensure the best result possible, including the realization of many parent/child goals.

The goals of Physical therapy after Rhizotomy include:

  • strengthening, especially trunk and leg muscles
  • stretching tight muscles with splints and casting
  • motor skill progression
  • floor mobility
  • sitting posture
  • balance
  • standing
  • walking  
  • increasing motor planning skills involved in daily tasks