The role of intramuscular botulinum toxin A in the treatment of 26 children with cerebral palsy was evaluated. The indication for injection was the presence of a dynamic contracture of lower-limb muscles interfering with positioning or walking. Spastic target muscles were identified by clinical examination and, in ambulant children, by gait analysis. Between 50 and 320 units of botulinum toxin were injected into each muscle group to a total dose of 100 to 400 units per child. The effects of injection were monitored by repeated clinical examination and gait analysis. There were no clinically detectable systemic side-effects, and all but one patient had a reduction in tone, which occurred within three days and persisted for two to four months. There were significant improvements in ambulatory status and in sagittal-plane kinematics. In some cases these gains persisted after the tone-reducing effects of the toxin had worn off.