Selective dorsal rhizotomy can provide an immediate, permanent reduction in spasticity and the potential to walk independently within one to two years with intensive postoperative physical and occupational therapy. A young patient with a strong commitment to succeed can achieve independent walking.
SDR is most effective for patients two to 40 years of age with spastic diplegia or spastic hemiplegia who have good trunk control and have not had multiple orthopedic procedures.
The surgical procedure requires a one-level laminectomy, where the spinal canal is unroofed at one level in the mid-lower back. Next, the dorsal sensory nerve roots are exposed. They are divided into rootlets and tested one by one with around 75 percent of the most spastic rootlets cut. Overall, surgery takes about two and a half hours with five total days in the hospital. The postoperative mobility results are excellent in the right patients. Learn more about this surgical procedure ».