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Single-stage multilevel soft-tissue surgery in the lower limbs with spastic cerebral palsy: Experience from a rehabilitation unit

Author(s): Gupta Anupam | Srivastava Abhishek | Taly Arun | Murali Thyloth

Journal: Indian Journal of Orthopaedics
ISSN 0019-5413

Volume: 42;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 448;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Keywords: Corrective surgery | deformity | spastic cerebral palsy

Background: To assess the effect of single-stage multilevel soft-tissue surgery (Single Event Multiple Level Resections, SEMLR) on deformities and locomotion in patients with cerebral palsy (CP) with static contracture(s) in lower limbs. Patients and Methods: Study included 34 patients (M:F, 23:11) with mean age of 9.53 ± 3.92 years (4-16 years). Among them 22 had diplegia and four each had quadriplegia and right and left hemiplegia. Fourteen patients (41.2%) had their intelligence quotient (IQ) in the normal range (IQ ≥ 80), while others had mental retardation (MR) of varying severity: borderline MR (IQ = 70-79) in 12, mild MR (IQ = 50-69) in 5, and moderate MR (IQ = 35-49) in patients 3. All patients underwent surgery (total number of procedures 153, average 4.5 procedures/patient) over a period of 30 months (April 2005 to September 2007). Improvement in functional abilities and locomotion was assessed using Gross Motor Functional Classification Scale (GMFCS) scores and by physical examination. Results: Significant improvement in function was observed ( P = 0.000) after surgery when comparing the preoperative and postoperative GMFCS scores. All patients were maintaining ambulation at a mean follow-up duration of 13.12 ± 6.07 months (3-24 months), with five patients using knee-ankle-foot orthoses (KAFO), 22 using ankle-foot orthoses (AFO), and six patients using knee gaiters. Sixteen patients were using walker, and two were using crutches as assistive devices. Conclusion: This study suggests that CP patients with good trunk control and static contractures at multiple joints in the lower limbs can be made ambulant with single-stage multilevel soft-tissue surgery. It has to be a team effort of the surgeon and the rehabilitation team in the postoperative period for the attainment of satisfactory goal.
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