The effect of treatment on stereognosis in children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy

Erica Petersen, Wendy Tomhave, Julie Agel, Anita Bagley, Michelle James, Ann Van Heest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Purpose To determine if rehabilitation alone or combined with surgery or botulinum toxin injection improved stereognosis in children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy. Methods Inclusion criteria were children with spastic hemiplegic cerebral palsy who had stereognosis testing 2 separate times with documentation of intervening treatment. Sixty-three children were included, 30 girls and 33 boys at an average age of 9.1 years (range, 4.4-16.0 years). Twelve standardized objects were used for manual identification. Baseline and postintervention stereognosis results were recorded for the hemiplegic and the dominant limb of each patient. The patients were separated into 3 groups based on intervening treatment: surgery with rehabilitation (27 patients), botulinum toxin injection with rehabilitation (19 subjects), and rehabilitation alone (7 subjects). Results were also analyzed by patient age group. Results Baseline testing of the hemiplegic limb revealed that 27 patients (43%) exhibited severe stereognosis impairment (0-4 objects identified correctly), 18 (28%) were moderately impaired (5-8 objects), 13 (21%) were mildly impaired (9-11 objects), and 5 (8%) had intact stereognosis (12 objects). There was no statistically significant difference in change in stereognosis scores postintervention among the 3 different treatment groups or between patients who had surgery and those who did not have surgery. There was no statistically significant difference in stereognosis function or postintervention change based on patient age at time of testing. Conclusions In this study, 92% of children with spastic hemiplegic cerebral palsy had stereognosis impairment with a wide spectrum of severity. After operative or nonoperative treatment interventions, stereognosis as a secondary outcome measure was not changed. Type of study/level of evidence Therapeutic III.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-96
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016



  • Cerebral palsy
  • hand
  • pediatric
  • stereognosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Surgery

Cite this