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Neurotherapeutics

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 3–8 | Cite as

The Evolution of Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy for the Management of Spasticity

  • Johannes M. Nicolaas EnslinEmail author
  • Nelleke Gertrude Langerak
  • Anthony Graham Fieggen
Review
  • 203 Downloads

Abstract

Selective dorsal rhizotomy is a key technique in the surgical management of spasticity in patients with cerebral palsy. The technique evolved from the late 1800s when pioneers like Dana and Abbe performed dorsal rhizotomy in their treatment of refractory pain. These surgeons noted a reduction in muscle tone associated with the operation. When Sherrington then published his Nobel prize-winning work on the corticospinal tract and its role in the neuromuscular system in the 1890s, the course was set for modifying spasticity by aiming surgery at the dorsal roots. This procedure underwent multiple modifications through the next century and today it is, arguably, the most commonly performed operation to treat cerebral palsy children with spasticity. Selective dorsal rhizotomy is a technique that still teaches us a great deal about neurophysiology on a daily basis and it is thanks to the pioneers, described in this article, that we have this tool in our armamentarium.

Key·Words

Selective dorsal rhizotomy History Evolution Techniques Spasticity. 

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© The American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics, Inc. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Neurosurgery, Grootte Schuur Hospital, OMB H53University of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa
  2. 2.Red Cross War Memorial Children’s HospitalCape TownSouth Africa
  3. 3.Neuroscience InstituteUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa

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