SDR (Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy)

Selective Dorsal Dhizotomy (SDR) is an operation on the nerves of the spinal cord to reduce spasticity (muscle stiffness) of the legs in children with Cerebral Palsy. Cerebral Palsy is the term used when a child sustains a brain injury early in life. Although the brain injury does not get worse over time, the consequences of the brain injury change as the child grows. This can cause difficulties controlling and co-ordinating limb movements with weakness and excessive stiffness or spasticity of muscles. When the legs are effected this can impact on a child’s ability to learn to walk. Spasticity can also result in shortening of muscles and tendons and ultimately result in joint deformities.

SDR is a surgical procedure that divides some of the nerve fibres in the spinal cord to reduce stiffness and spasticity in the legs.

It is often useful for children to have physiotherapy prior to the operation to make sure they are strong as possible to maximise the outcomes of the surgery. After surgery your child’s legs are likely to be less stiff but it is also common for them to be much weaker. They will find it difficult to move in the ways they did prior to the operation. It is therefore important that SDR is followed up with physiotherapy treatment.

After the operation it is recommended that physiotherapy gradually increases range of movement and muscle strength. Physiotherapy is also important at re-educating movement patterns to teach your child how to balance and walk.  MOTIONrehab® can support your child’s rehabilitation in the community after they have been discharged from the hospital. We are happy to liaise with NHS services to ensure the physiotherapy is seamless at the point of discharge back home. MOTIONrehab will also consider if rehabilitation technology is appropriate to help with the rehabilitation process We will help your child achieve their full potential.


For more information about how MOTIONrehab can help with SDR please email [email protected] or call the MOTIONrehab Client Services Team on 0800 8600 138

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