Therapeutic electrical stimulation following selective posterior rhizotomy in children with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy: a randomized clinical trial

Dev Med Child Neurol. 1997 Aug;39(8):515-20. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.1997.tb07479.x.


A randomized controlled trial was carried out to determine the effectiveness of therapeutic electrical stimulation (TES) in improving the function of children with spastic cerebral palsy (CP), who had undergone selective posterior lumbosacral rhizotomy more than a year previously. Children were randomly assigned to groups to receive TES for 1 year, or to have no TES. The primary outcome was the change in the Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM), a quantitative and validated measure for use in children with spastic CP. There was a statistically significant and clinically important improvement in outcome for the treated children, with the mean change in the GMFM score at one year being 5.5% compared with 1.9% in the untreated group (P = 0.001). TES was simple to use, had no significant complications, and was well accepted by the children and their caregivers, as indicated by an average compliance of 93% for the application of TES on a nightly basis over the course of the study. It was concluded that TES may be beneficial in children with spastic CP who have undergone a selective posterior rhizotomy procedure more than 1 year previously.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cerebral Palsy / therapy*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy*
  • Humans
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / surgery
  • Muscle Spasticity
  • Muscle, Skeletal
  • Rhizotomy*
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Spinal Nerve Roots / surgery