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Evidence to Improve Care

Lumbosacral Dorsal Rhizotomy for Spastic Cerebral Palsy

Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee Recommendation

  • The Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee recommends that lumbrosacral dorsal rhizotomy be publicly funded for children with spastic cerebral palsy who have been evaluated as appropriate candidates by a multidisciplinary team.

  • The Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee recommends that this procedure be provided in the context of programs that offer appropriate pre-procedural assessment and post-procedural rehabilitation.

Read the Full Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee Recommendation Report Here

Cerebral palsy refers to a spectrum of neuromuscular conditions caused by abnormal brain development or injury to the brain. It can be acquired before, during or after birth and there is no cure. Cerebral palsy is the most common cause of childhood physical disability, affecting approximately two per 1,000 live births.

Health Quality Ontario Reviews Lumbosacral Dorsal Rhizotomy

Lumbosacral Dorsal Rhizotomy is a surgical procedure for children with spastic cerebral palsy (the most common form of cerebral palsy) that involves cutting nerves in the spine to decrease lower limb spasticity. The surgery is always followed by intensive inpatient and long-term outpatient physical rehabilitation.


The objectives of this health technology assessment were to evaluate the clinical effectiveness, safety, cost effectiveness, and family perspectives of lumbosacral dorsal rhizotomy as a treatment for children who have spastic cerebral palsy.

Lumbosacral Dorsal Rhizotomy for Spastic Cerebral Palsy: A Health Technology Assessment
April 2017

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We reviewed dorsal rhizotomy, a type of surgery to treat spasticity from cerebral palsy. Read the latest draft recommendation from the Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee and submit your feedback.

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Date posted: April 12, 2017
Closing date for public comment: May 3, 2017

Health Technology Assessment at Health Quality Ontario

As part of our core function to promote health care supported by the best available evidence, we use established scientific methods to analyze the evidence for a wide range of health interventions, including diagnostic tests, medical devices, interventional and surgical procedures, health care programs and models of care. These analyses are informed by input from a range of individuals, including patients and clinical experts. The Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee (OHTAC) – a committee of the Health Quality Ontario board of directors – reviews the evidence and makes recommendations about whether health care interventions should be publicly funded or not. Draft recommendations are posted on the Health Quality Ontario website for feedback. Final recommendations are approved by our board of directors and then shared with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. For more detailed information, visit our Evidence to Improve Care pages.

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