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Research Article  |   August 1993
Improvement in Upper Extremity Function and Trunk Control After Selective Posterior Rhizotomy
Author Affiliations
  • Alison J. Beck, OTR, is an Occupational Therapist, Children’s Center at Methodist Hospital, San Antonio, Texas
  • Sarah J. Gaskill, MD, works in the Division of Neurosurgery, Duke University Medical Center, Box 3667, Durham, North Carolina 27710
  • Arthur E. Marlin, MD, is a Pediatric Neurosurgeon, San Antonio, Texas
Article Information
Hand and Upper Extremity / Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Research
Research Article   |   August 1993
Improvement in Upper Extremity Function and Trunk Control After Selective Posterior Rhizotomy
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, August 1993, Vol. 47, 704-707. doi:10.5014/ajot.47.8.704
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, August 1993, Vol. 47, 704-707. doi:10.5014/ajot.47.8.704
Abstract

Selective posterior rhizotomy is being increasingly used in the treatment of spasticity associated with cerebral palsy. Anecdotal reports in the literature note that this procedure results in improved upper extremity function and trunk control. We present a systematic analysis of the results of selective posterior rhizotomy performed on patients with cerebral palsy at Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital. Patients were videotaped before surgery and one year postoperatively. These videos were reviewed blind by an occupational therapist who graded patients’ performance on three tasks: assumption of side sitting, maintenance of side sitting, and block building. Statistically significant improvements were noted in all three categories with p values of .0003, .0001, and .0044 respectively. These results support the anecdotal reports of improvement in upper extremity function and trunk control with selective posterior rhizotomy.