Effect of selective dorsal rhizotomy on need for orthopedic surgery for spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy: long-term outcome analysis in relation to age.

Donncha F. O'Brien, Tae Sung Park, Joan A. Puglisi, David R. Collins, Eric C. Leuthardt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECT: The authors performed a long-term evaluation of gait status to determine the frequency with which orthopedic operations for cerebral palsy are conducted before and after selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) and the relation between pre- and post-SDR orthopedic surgery and age. METHODS: Fifty-two patients with spastic quadriplegia were prospectively followed for 5 to 9 years. All children were evaluated and underwent SDR at St. Louis Children's Hospital. Preoperative scores for gait function and details of previous orthopedic procedures were recorded for two age groups: those 2 to 5 (Group 1) and those 6 to 14 years of age (Group 2). Data were collected from parents who completed a questionnaire a mean of 7.5 years after SDR. Relations between gait status and the number/type of pre- and post-SDR orthopedic procedures, rate of improvement after SDR, benefit of operation according to parents, and return of spasticity were analyzed. Forty-nine percent of patients in Group 1 and 25% of those in Group 2 had improved gait scores. The interaction between pre- or post-SDR time frame and walking mode was statistically significant (p = 0.004). Among those children who had not undergone orthopedic surgery before SDR, the incidence of surgery post-SDR was higher in the older children (Group 2) than the younger children (Group 1 [70% compared with 34%]). Parents of 75% of the Group 1 patients and 88% of the Group 2 patients felt that their children benefited from SDR. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study highlight the effect of SDR on gait status in children with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy. The percentage of patients needing orthopedic operations was not as high as reported previously. Parents indicated that SDR was beneficial to their children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-63
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of neurosurgery
Volume101
Issue number1 Suppl
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2004

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