Functional outcomes following single-event multilevel surgery of the upper extremity for children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy

J. Adam Smitherman, Jon Davids, Stephanie Tanner, James W. Hardin, Lisa V. Wagner, Laura C. Peace, Mary Ann Gidewall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Outcomes following single-event multilevel surgery of the upper extremity for children with cerebral palsy have not been well described in the literature. Since 1996 all children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy at our institution thought to be candidates for upper extremity surgery have had serial Shriners Hospital for Children Upper Extremity Evaluation performed for both clinical decision making and outcome assessment. The goal of the current study was to determine the functional outcomes, as described by the Shriners Hospital for Children Upper Extremity Evaluation, following single-event multilevel surgery of the upper extremity in children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy. Methods: The study design was a retrospective, case-control series. The case group consisted of forty children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy who underwent upper-extremity single-event multilevel surgery. The control group consisted of twenty-six children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy who had not received any upper-extremity interventions. The spontaneous functional analysis, dynamic positional analysis, and grasp-release analysis sections of the Shriners Hospital for Children Upper Extremity Evaluation were compared between the two groups. Results: The operative and nonoperative groups were comparable with respect to age (p = 0.09), sex (p = 0.97), initial spontaneous functional analysis scores (p = 0.37), dynamic positional analysis scores (p = 0.73), and grasp-release analysis scores (p = 0.16). For the single-event multilevel surgery group, significant improvements were noted for the mean spontaneous functional analysis score (p < 0.0001) and the mean dynamic positional analysis score (p < 0.0001), but not the mean grasp-release analysis score (p = 0.75). For the nonoperative control group, no significant changes were noted for the mean spontaneous functional analysis score (p = 0.89), the mean dynamic positional analysis score (p = 0.98), or the mean grasp-release analysis score (p = 0.36). Significant differences were noted between the single-event multilevel surgery and nonoperative control groups for the mean changes in the spontaneous functional analysis score (p = 0.01) and the mean change in the dynamic positional analysis score (p < 0.0001), but not the mean changes in the grasp-release analysis score (p = 0.56). Conclusions: Children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy showed significantly improved dynamic segmental alignment and, to a lesser degree, spontaneous use of the upper extremity following single-event multilevel surgery compared with a comparable nonoperative control group. However, the grasp-release ability did not significantly improve in either the operative or nonoperative group. Level of Evidence: Therapeutic Level III. See Instructions to Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)655-661
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Bone and Joint Surgery - Series A
Volume93
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 6 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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