The use of botulinum toxin therapy for lower-extremity spasticity in children with cerebral palsy

Neurosurg Focus. 2006 Aug 15;21(2):e1. doi: 10.3171/foc.2006.21.2.2.


Hypertonicity is a leading cause of disability for children with cerebral palsy (CP). Botulinum toxin A (BTA) chemically denervates muscle tissue and is commonly used in the management of lower-extremity hypertonicity in children with CP because of its focal effects and wide safety margin. Randomized controlled trials have demonstrated that BTA injections in the ankle flexors, hamstrings, and adductors reduce spasticity and result in improved passive and active range of motion. In other studies, improvements in gait and measurements of functional outcome were found in appropriately selected children who had been injected with BTA. A multidisciplinary treatment approach that includes physical therapists, occupational therapists, orthotists, neurologists, physicians with expertise in performing botulinum toxin injections, orthopedic surgeons, and neurosurgeons is critical to optimize care in children with lower-extremity tone due to CP. In this paper, the authors propose treatment algorithms based on clinical presentation, detailed dosing, and technical information to optimize the treatment of these children. With a multidisciplinary approach, children with lower-extremity hypertonicity due to CP can experience improvements in muscle tone and function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Anti-Dyskinesia Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Botulinum Toxins / therapeutic use*
  • Cerebral Palsy / complications
  • Cerebral Palsy / drug therapy*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Lower Extremity*
  • Muscle Spasticity / drug therapy*
  • Muscle Spasticity / etiology
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Dyskinesia Agents
  • Botulinum Toxins