Dorsal Rhizotomy for Spasticity Management in Cerebral Palsy

  • P. NilssonEmail author
  • N. Wesslén
  • H. Axelsson
  • G. Ahlsten
  • L. Westbom
Living reference work entry


Selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) is a neurosurgical procedure for the relief of spasticity interfering with motor function in children with spastic cerebral palsy (CP). The goal of the treatment is to improve function as well as reduce pain and discomfort related to severely increased spasticity. SDR is an ablative procedure that results in lifelong effects on function in the central nervous system. One must also be aware that performing SDR does not guarantee that other treatments for spasticity or orthopedic corrective procedures can be avoided. For SDR to be an effective treatment, it must be combined with specific physiotherapy over a long period of time. Today there exists a good body of evidence that SDR is an effective means of treating patients with the CP subtype spastic diplegia, as long as selection criteria are rigorously adhered to. The procedure is also safe with little risk of short or long-term complications. Further studies on long-term effects late in adulthood will show if the treatment effects are stable over time.


Selective dorsal rhizotomy Spasticity Spastic diplegic cerebral palsy 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Nilsson
    • 1
    Email author
  • N. Wesslén
    • 1
  • H. Axelsson
    • 2
  • G. Ahlsten
    • 3
  • L. Westbom
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Neuroscience, NeurosurgeryUniversity HospitalUppsalaSweden
  2. 2.Department of Neuroscience, NeurophysiologyUniversity HospitalUppsalaSweden
  3. 3.Department of PediatricsUniversity HospitalUppsalaSweden
  4. 4.Department of PediatricsUniversity HospitalLundSweden

Section editors and affiliations

  • Freeman Miller
    • 1
  1. 1.AI DuPont Hospital for ChildrenWilmingtonUSA

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