Published: 2018-02-23

Lower extremity soft tissue surgery in spastic cerebral palsy: experience from a government rehabilitation unit

Adiveppa Hosangadi, Anand Varma, Surykanth Kalluraya


Background: Spastic cerebral palsy (CP) remains the most common type of CP and may be managed surgically or non-surgically depending upon its severity. Recent advances have replaced single-level surgery by the concept of multilevel surgery where multiple levels of musculoskeletal pathology, in one/both lower limbs, are addressed during one operative procedure, requiring only one hospital admission and one period of rehabilitation. This study assessed the outcome of lower limb soft tissue surgery in children with spastic CP in a government rehabilitation unit and measured its feasibility with limited infrastructure facilities and patient compliance.

Methods: The study comprised of 26 patients aged between 2-12 years. Physical examination and GMFCS scores were recorded and evaluation of sitting balance, standing balance and gait were done. Musculotendinous soft tissue lower limb surgery was performed at one or more levels unilaterally or bilaterally and the results were interpreted.

Results: Complete or near complete correction of deformities were attained by all children postoperatively. Significant improvements were noted in the gross motor functional classification system (GMFCS) scores. All parents and children were satisfied with the surgical outcome and reported improvement in functional abilities and locomotion in the follow-up along with better quality of life and mobility.

Conclusions: Lower limb soft tissue surgery is a valuable aid in improving functional abilities and locomotion in children with spastic CP. Surgery should be undertaken depending upon clinical indications and can be successfully carried out in government hospitals with ordinary infrastructure in developing countries as well.


Cerebral palsy, Deformity, Surgery

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