DOI: 10.3138/ptc-2023-0020 ISSN: 0300-0508

Quality of Movement Changes in Ambulatory Children with Cerebral Palsy 1 Year after Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy

Deepti Chugh, Stephanie P Cawker, Lesley Katchburian, Lucinda J Carr, Kristian Aquilina, Sally Morgan, Celia Harding
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


Quality of movement is an important component of effective gross motor performance in children with cerebral palsy. This study used the Quality Function Measure (QFM) to evaluate changes in quality of movement in ambulatory children with cerebral palsy 1 year after selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR).


In a retrospective study, using a single-group repeated measure design, 48 children (28 male) at preoperative Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) level II ( n = 18) and III ( n = 30) were evaluated. Mean (standard deviation) age at surgery was 7 years 11 months (2 years 3 months). Scores for all five QFM attributes, Alignment, Coordination, Dissociated Movements, Stability and Weight-shift were obtained.


All QFM attributes improved significantly ( p < 0.001) for all children and within both GMFCS levels. Mean (SD) change in QFM scores varied from 9.02% (8.61) for Stability to 26.5% (22.06) for Alignment.


SDR and subsequent rehabilitation are associated with an improvement in the quality of gross motor movement in children with cerebral palsy. This study provides clinicians and families with further evidence supporting the value of SDR in this population. Further studies need to evaluate the impact of improved quality of movement on a child's function and participation in the real world.

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