So, what is SDR? SDR (Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy) is a procedure that helps to treat cerebral palsy, as these are typically the kids who are affected by spasticity. Muscle spasticity is caused by the abnormal communication between the brain, spinal cord, nerves, and muscles. By cutting the roots of the nerve of the nerves sending abnormal messages to the brain, this helps patients reduce spasticity, improve walking, balance, range of motion, functional mobility, and become more self-dependant.
Two groups of nerve roots leave the spinal cord and lie in the spinal canal. The ventral spinal roots send information to the muscle; the dorsal spinal roots transmit sensation from the muscle to the spinal cord.
At the time of the operation, the neurosurgeon divides each of the dorsal roots into 3-5 rootlets and stimulates each rootlet electrically. By examining electromyographic (EMG) responses from muscles in the lower extremities, the surgical team identifies the rootlets that cause spasticity. The abnormal rootlets are selectively cut, leaving the normal rootlets intact. This reduces messages from the muscle, resulting in a better balance of activities of nerve cells in the spinal cord, and thus reduces spasticity.
Currently, SDR is the only surgical procedure that provides a permanent reduction of spasticity.
As you can imagine after reading this, and finding all the reviews and post-surgery stories of others just like Ariela, we believe that Dr. Park can really help us make Ariela’s dream a reality, and help her gain that self-independence many of us take for granted.
You can find more on this procedure here.