Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Thomas Mohr




Cerebral palsy is one of the most common chronic disabling conditions of children occurring in 1.5 to 2.5 per 1000 live births with a similar prevalence rate into adolescence and adulthood. The most common type of cerebral palsy is spastic cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy (CP) is characterized by increased muscle tone, decreased range of motion, and altered motor coordination resulting in an impairment in function. Spasticity contributes to muscle contractures and creates abnormal movement patterns.

Selective dorsal rhizotomy is a surgical procedure that is used to reduce a child's spasticity. It has been proven to reduce the spasticity, but is still controversial as to whether it makes the child more functional.

The purpose of this study is to provide a current literature review of the selective dorsal rhizotomy procedure, the complications that could occur, and the functional outcomes that have been researched to enable physical therapists to effectively and efficiently treat this type of patient.