Open Access: Combined Anterior and Posterior Lumbar Rhizotomy for Treatment of Mixed Dystonia and Spasticity in Children With Cerebral Palsy

BACKGROUND: Children with cerebral palsy (CP) can present with severe secondary dystonia with or without associated spasticity of their extremities.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the outcomes of combined anterior and posterior lumbar rhizotomy for the treatment of mixed hypertonia in the lower extremities of children with CP.

METHODS: Fifty children with CP were subjected to combined anterior and posterior lumbar rhizotomies in a prospective study. Clinical outcome measurements were recorded preoperatively and were evaluated at 2, 6, and 12 months postoperatively. The operative techniques were performed by laminotomy from L1-S1, and intraoperative monitoring was used in all cases. All patients underwent intensive postoperative physiotherapy programs.

RESULTS: Changes in muscle tone, joint range of motion, and dystonia were significant (P = .000) at postoperative assessment visits.

CONCLUSION: This study demonstrated the potential of combined anterior and posterior lumbar rhizotomies to improve activities of daily living in children with CP and with mixed spasticity and dystonia.

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