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Two hospitals in Grand Rapids, MI, recently introduced a revolutionary treatment hoped to help children with cerebral palsy.
This particular type of neurosurgery, limited exposure selective dorsal rhizotomy, has never been available in West Michigan until now.
Spasticity is a condition that can have a life-altering affect on a child’s muscles and can make walking for children with cerebral palsy difficult.
Doctors say that the surgery is most effective for children between the ages of three and eight since their gait pattern is still correctable.
Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital (HDVCH) and Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital partnered together to make this surgery possible for patients with cerebral palsy.
“A small incision in the child’s mid lower back opens the end of the spinal cord so I can see the nerves and selectively group them into motor and sensory nerves,” explains Dr. Stanley Skarli, the HDVCH neurosurgeon who performs the surgery.
Dr. Skarli reportedly tests each sensory nerve to detect which ones function normally and then severs the ones that don’t.
“We are cutting nerves, but they are abnormal sensory nerves not motor nerves,” explains Dr. Skarli. “In these children, usually 40 to 60 percent of the sensory nerves are abnormal.”
After the surgery, patients are admitted to the Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, which provides a physical therapy program that teaches them to walk with reduced spasticity.
“The program expedites care for patients by coordinating treatment, simplifying referrals and sharing documentation between the two hospitals,” says Dr. Andrea Kuldanek, the medical director of the pediatric and adolescent program at Mary Free Bed.
(Source: Rapid Growth Media)
Do you have a child living with cerebral palsy? If so, please contact a cerebral palsy attorney who will enable you and your loved ones to get legal guidance.