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Independent Provider Of Specialist Neurological Rehabilitation Services

Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy

What is Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy?

Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) is a neurosurgical procedure, which selectively destroys the nerve root in the spinal cord, to reduce spasticity in Cerebral Palsy. The surgery aims to:

  • achieve a long-term reduction in spasticity
  • improve function and mobility
  • increase independence
  • increase range of motion and improve positioning

The procedure involves an incision to the lower back, where the spinal canal is opened. The nerve roots and rootlets that contribute to the spasticity are identified through stimulation and are then divided.

Physiotherapy following Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy

Post operative physiotherapy is necessary to obtain the best results following SDR.  After the surgery, inpatient physiotherapy will be provided by the hospital, however following discharge from hospital, it is important that your child continues their rehabilitation.  Children with Cerebral Palsy often have varying degrees of weakness.  When spasticity is eliminated, that weakness can become more apparent.  However after spasticity is reduced, it becomes easier to increase strength through therapy and exercise.

At Hobbs Rehabilitation, our specialist paediatric physiotherapists have experience working with children following this procedure. Physiotherapy will aim to:

  • Improve any underlying weakness.
  • Develop and improve mobility.
  • Develop smooth and co-ordinated movements.