Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy | Birth Injury Attorney - RB Law
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Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy | Romanucci & Blandin

Selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) is a surgical procedure that is able to identify and destroy the malfunctioning nerve roots in the spinal cord.  This is a treatment for some neuromuscular conditions, including spastic cerebral palsy.  In this procedure, the lower vertebrae is exposed to show the spinal cord, which contains neurons.  These neurons carry messages between the brain and the rest of the body.  This procedure will continue until the physician is able to find the nerves and nerve roots that are affective the spastic muscles, and they will then cut out the nerves and nerve roots.

After the surgery, the patient will need to go through extensive physical therapy in order to train and retrain their legs.  There has been research that shows that SDR in conjunction with physical therapy has significant benefits.  There is a great reduction is spasticity and there is function improvement that is measured by the Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM).  Patients who receive SDR also have improvements with posture and alignment and they have long-term improvements of gait abnormalities.

Who is a Candidate to Receive SDR?

If a child is under 18 years old, the requirements are:

  • They are at least 2 years old
  • They must have a diagnosis of spastic diplegia, spastic quadriplegia or spastic hemiplegia
  • They must have a potential for improvement in their functional skills
  • They must have no severe damage to the basal ganglia on MRI examination
  • They must have some form of independent mobility
  • They were born premature. If they were born at full term, the child must show typical signs of spastic diplegia

If the candidate is an adult between 19-40 years old, the requirements are:

  • They currently ambulate (walk / move about) on their own and without an assistive device
  • They have an intense motivation to attend intensive physical therapy
  • They have no fixed orthopedic deformities that prevent current walking or would prevent walking after SDR
  • They have potential for functional gains after SDR
  • They have received a diagnosis of spastic diplegia
  • They were born prematurely

Any candidate for having SDR must have good muscle strength in both their trunk and legs.  They must also have sufficient motor control or at least have the ability to make reciprocal movements for walking or crawling.  They must also be able to quickly move from one posture to another.   Children who are candidates typically will have cerebral palsy and will have demonstrated age-appropriate progression in their motor development, but spasticity has halted the development of their skills.

Free Consultation with a Chicago Birth Injury Attorney

RB Law has vast experience with handling birth injury cases for babies who suffer from spastic cerebral palsy.  If your baby has needed to have selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) and it was the direct result of medical negligence or a medical error, you need to contact a proficient birth injury attorney right away to help you get the compensation you deserve.

If you have questions regarding your birth injury case, contact us today for a free consultation at (312) 458-1000, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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