Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy

Selective dorsal rhizotomy is a surgical procedure that treats muscle spasticity (tightness). A small incision is made in the child’s lower back and the dorsal sensory nerves that are sending abnormal signals to the leg muscles are cut. The surgeon will stimulate each root electrically and identify which roots are causing the spasticity. The abnormal roots are cut, leaving the normal ones intact. The goal is to help children move better and hurt less.

Who is eligible?

The best candidates for surgery are those who:

  • Have tightness mainly in the legs.
  • Are physically and mentally able to participate in intensive physical therapy after the operation. This includes inpatient therapy initially.
  • Are motivated and able to follow instructions.

Potential (but unlikely) risks:

  • Infection
  • Short-term loss of bladder control
  • Sensory loss

Post-Op Therapy

After surgery, the recommended frequency of therapy sessions for patients is:

  • The initial two to four weeks of therapy will be done inpatient
  • Surgery to six months after surgery: four to five times per week
  • Six to 12 months after surgery: three to four times per week
  • Twelve to 36 months after surgery: two to four times per week
  • Each session will be 45-60 minutes.

Contact Us

For more information or to make an appointment, give us a call at the phone number below. We serve families in the greater Tampa Bay area and beyond.

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