SELECTIVE DORSAL RHIZOTOMY IN CEREBRAL PALSY: SELECTION CRITERIA AND POSTOPERATIVE PHYSICAL THERAPY PROTOCOLS

<p></p><p>ABSTRACT Objective: To identify selection criteria for selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) in cerebral palsy, to analyze the instruments used for evaluation, and to describe the characteristics of physical therapy in postoperative protocols. Data sources: Integrative review performed in the following databases: SciELO, PEDro, Cochrane Library, and PubMed. The terms in both Portuguese and English for “cerebral palsy”, “selective dorsal rhizotomy”, and “physical therapy” were used in the search. Studies whose samples enrolled individuals with cerebral palsy who had attended physical therapy sessions for selective dorsal rhizotomy according to protocols and describing such protocols’ characteristics were included. Literature reviews were excluded and there was no restriction as to period of publication. Data synthesis: Eighteen papers were selected, most of them being prospective cohort studies with eight-month to ten-year follow-ups. In most studies, the instruments of assessment encompassed the domains of functions, body structure, and activity. The percentage of posterior root sections was close to 50%. Primary indications for SDR included ambulatory spastic diplegia, presence of spasticity that interfered with mobility, good strength of lower limbs and trunk muscles, no musculoskeletal deformities, dystonia, ataxia or athetosis, and good cognitive function. Postoperative physical therapy is part of SDR treatment protocols and should be intensive and specific, being given special emphasis in the first year. Conclusions: The studies underline the importance of appropriate patient selection to obatin success in the SDR. Postoperative physical therapy should be intensive and long-term, and must necessarily include strategies to modify the patient’s former motor pattern.</p><p></p>