Short- and long-term effects of selective dorsal rhizotomy on gross motor function in ambulatory children with spastic diplegia Clinical article

P.E.M. van Schie, M. Schothorst, A.J. Dallmeijer, R.J. Vermeulen, W.J.R. van Ouwerkerk, R.L.M. Strijers, J.G. Becher

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Object. The primary aim of this prospective cohort study was to evaluate the short-term (1 year) and long-term (mean 6 years) effects of selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) on gross motor function and spasticity in ambulatory children with spastic diplegia. Secondary aims were to investigate side effects, additional treatment during follow-up (botulinum toxin type A injections or orthopedic surgery), and parental satisfaction. Methods. Thirty-three children who had undergone SDR at a mean age of 6 years and 7 months ( 2 years) were included. There were 7 children at Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) Level I, 7 at Level II, and 19 at Level III. Gross motor function was assessed with the Gross Motor Function Measure-66 (GMFM-66). Spasticity was measured according to a modified Tardieu scale. Side effects, additional treatment, and parental satisfaction were recorded using a parental questionnaire and medical records. Results. At 1-year follow-up, mean GMFM-66 scores improved significantly by 4.3 +/- 4.1 points. Children at GMFCS Levels 1 and II showed significantly more improvement (7.2 points) on the GMFM-66 compared with children at GMFCS Level III (2.9 points). On long-term follow-up (mean 6 years 22 months), mean GMFM-66 scores improved significantly by 6.5 +/- 5.9 points, without a difference between children at GMFCS Levels land II and Level III. No relapse of spasticity was noted. Ten children (30%) needed orthopedic surgery and 13 children (39%) received botulinum toxin type A treatment after SDR. Twenty (91%) of the 22 parents who answered the questionnaire at long-term follow-up believed that their child's functioning had improved after SDR. Conclusions. Selective dorsal rhizotomy resulted in short- and long-term improvements in gross motor function, without relapse of spasticity. However, the majority of the children still needed additional surgery or botulinum toxin A treatment. (DOI: 10.3171/2011.2.PEDS10452)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)557-562
JournalJournal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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