Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science


Pediatric Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation


Dr. Tom Colletti


This article aims to provide further information for primary care providers about selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) as a permanent spasticity management option for children with cerebral palsy (CP). Cerebral palsy is the most common lifelong motor disability for which there is no known cure. The most common subtype of CP is spastic, which causes a velocity-dependent increase in muscle tone. While there is no known cure for CP, many interventions are available to address the associated muscle spasticity. Studies have proven that CP patients who undergo an SDR have greatly decreased spasticity, improved motor function, reduced risk of acute and chronic pain, decreased need for orthopedic surgeries, and improved quality of life for the patient as well as their family. Pediatricians will care for children with CP from birth through early adulthood and at times serve as their medical home. It is essential that primary care providers are aware of the procedure so that they may adequately educate patients and assist with making informed decisions in regard to benefits, risks, and outcomes.


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