Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Monday, November 29, 2010

As a librarian in a US paediatric orthopaedic hospital

I've come across a procedure a lot in the literature that I truly never expected to be unavailable in a country such as Britain. A British family raised £40,000 to travel to the US so their son, who has cerebral palsy, could have a selective dorsal rhizotomy to treat his spasticity. It has meant the difference between walking on his tip toes with bent knees to walking with his feet in a natural position and straight legs. The procedure has been used in the US for over 20 years. Only one centre in Britain performs it, and the treatment there is done differently than here. A neurosurgeon from Britain who is interested in bringing the treatment there watched the procedure.

I wish this boy and his family the very best. Cerebral palsy is a very challenging condition. It looks like this surgery may have relaxed the spasticity so that further tightening and lack of range of motion will not happen. I hope that is so.

New start for Hartlepool boy with cerebral palsy
A 10-year-old Hartlepool boy with cerebral palsy is learning to do some of the things he has never been able to manage before, like riding a bike, after major surgery.

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