It’s an operation, where the nerve roots in the lower spinal cord are selectively disconnected to reduce high muscle tone (spasticity) in the leg muscles in children with cerebral palsy. This procedure can only be done once, and only for children who are carefully assessed and selected to be suitable for surgery. When it’s supported by physiotherapy (before and afterwards), it can greatly improve your child’s movement.
Muscles can become weak after surgery so having physio beforehand can help strengthen them. And it’s helpful to prepare you and your child for what to expect from the post-operative therapy programme.
As the surgery releases the muscles, the underlying weakness in those muscles can be exposed, particularly in the legs, which are essential for standing and walking. Initially, some activities might be more difficult as children have relied on the tension in their legs for stability. But this will improve as the muscles become stronger with intensive physiotherapy.
We start the pre-op therapy the same as all our other therapies for children – by building a relationship with you and your child and understanding how they move at that moment in time. We’ll work together on strengthening the muscles, without compromising the quality of their movement, elongating any tight muscles, and identifying any equipment needs.
- A welcome session to discuss your needs with a Bobath therapist
- Your completed parent questionnaire sent to you after your welcome session
- A copy of any recent medical report or therapy assessment
- A referral from your GP or Consultant
Because each child is different we will tailor what we recommend specifically to their needs. Usually it will be three to five times per week for the first three to six months followed by one or two sessions per week for 12-18 months. We also offer intensive blocks of therapy, where sessions happen twice a day for one or two weeks, which research has shown to support the best outcomes.
Swimming, cycling, and walking on a treadmill are all fun activities for your child to do after surgery. However, we will give guidelines as to when it would be the best time to start these activities.
Our Bobath training and experience means that we understand movement, posture, and balance and how they all work together. And our therapy focuses on independence and participation without compromising the quality of movement when treating your child. As your child is empowered to manage their own body while growing up, the experience will be physically and emotionally rewarding.