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Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) and the Role of Physio

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Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) is a surgical procedure that involves making one incision in the lower back to allow access to the end of the spinal cord and nerve roots. It is performed under a general anaesthetic and the nerve roots that contribute to spasticity are divided. Spasticity should be reduced immediately after surgery allowing the child to build on leg weakness (which lies underneath) and learn to use their body in a new way.


Before surgery, Physios can thoroughly assess your child and devise a strengthening programme before surgery.  This is essential especially if your child is having multi level orthopaedic surgery as well as SDR.  Outcome measures of your child’s baseline function are taken which will be carried out again after surgery to prove the benefits of SDR.  After surgery, physiotherapy treatment usually aims to strengthen the legs, trunk and pelvis, helping to improve walking and standing as well as maintain range of movement in the legs as well as developing isolated movements.

To find out more, you can download our SDR Info sheet here.

Are you looking for a specialised SDR physiotherapist to treat your child?  We can see your child at home and can often set up an appointment within 24 hours.  Contact us today on 0207 884 0374 or email