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In association with Life For a Kid

Registered Charity Number: 1136410

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About CP & SDR

What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy or CP is a condition that affects muscle control and movement. It’s usually caused by an injury to the brain before, during or after birth. Children with a diagnosis of cerebral palsy may have difficulties in controlling muscles and movements as they grow and develop. It is estimated that 1 in 400 babies born in the UK each year have a type of cerebral palsy.

What is SDR?

SDR is an abbreviation for Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy. SDR is not a cure for Cerebral Palsy but the operation intends to improve quality of life by reducing the muscle stiffness. The procedure is irreversible so the changes cannot be undone. But, the procedures effectiveness at reducing spasticity and improving quality of life has been demonstrated many times. The four to five hour procedure involves;

- An incision made into the upper lumbar spine.

- An ultrasound prod used to identify the lower end of the spinal cord.

- Under the operating microscope, the membrane covering the spinal cord is opened and the lower end of the cord, with the sensory roots entering it, is identified.

- Each of the sensory nerve roots is then subdivided into four or five rootlets.

- Each rootlet is stimulated to identify the ones that contribute most to the spasticity.

- These rootlets are then divided. The process is repeated for all the other nerve roots on both sides, aiming to divide 50 to 70 per cent of the sensory roots.

- At the end of the procedure, the membrane covering the spinal cord is closed again.

- The back muscles are returned to their original position and the skin is closed with dissolvable stitches.