TREATMENTS AND PROCEDURES

At Gillette, a patient who has complex medical condition, such as cerebral palsy, often sees specialists in neurology, neurosurgery, orthopedics, rehabilitation medicine, sleep medicine, rehabilitation therapies and assistive technology. Working in teams, our specialists offer a wide range of collaborative evaluations and expert testing to support care and treatment. Treatments and procedures might include:

  • Assistive Technology Treatments

Assistive technology options range from orthoses (braces) that support the legs to custom seating systems for children who use wheelchairs. Gillette provides team evaluations and follow-up care for patients who need a wide range of equipment. Assistive technology options might include… Learn More >>

  • Botulinum Toxin Type A

Botulinum toxin type A, (commonly referred to the brand name, Botox®), is a medicine that can be used to lower tone or unwanted spasms in a specific muscle or muscles. The medicine works by stopping the impulse between the nerve endings and the muscle, which would otherwise produce muscle contraction. Botulinum toxin type A is the same substance that can cause botulism, a form of food poison­ing. However, when it is given in very small amounts and is placed directly into the muscle, it affects only the area with which it has contact. The medicine itself is painless and not known to leave any painful sensation after it is given. Botulinum toxin type A is given with multiple needle injections. When children who have cerebral palsy receive injected medications, such as botulinum toxin type A, their movement abilities often improve, and their braces might fit better. The effects generally last 4-6 months or longer.

  • Intrathecal Baclofen Pump

To deliver baclofen (a medication), our surgeons fill a small pump and implant it under the skin of your child’s abdomen. A catheter connected to the pump carries the baclofen directly to the fluid-filled intrathecal space surrounding the spinal cord. We program the pump to deliver doses appropriate for your child. We adjust dosages and refill the pump during clinic appointments, without additional surgery. When the pump needs replacing, however, surgery is again required. By directing baclofen into the intrathecal space rather than giving the medication orally, we can use smaller doses to get results. Using smaller doses lowers the risk of side effects, such as drowsiness.

  • Orthopedic Treatments

Over time, cerebral palsy can cause problems with muscles, bones and joints. For example, some patients develop hip problems, leg or arm deformities, or scoliosis. At Gillette, surgical procedures to correct such problems might include… Learn More >>

  • Rehabilitative Treatments

Gillette’s rehabilitation medicine specialists and rehabilitation therapists help patients maximize their abilities and learn new patterns of movement following various treatments. Rehabilitative care might include… Learn More >>

  • Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) Surgery

Gillette’s selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) surgery is a procedure that treats muscle spasticity (tightness or stiffness) caused by abnormal communication among the brain, spinal cord, nerves and muscles. Spasticity most commonly affects children who have cerebral palsy. SDR surgery corrects muscle spasticity by cutting the nerve rootlets in the spinal cord that are sending abnormal signals to the muscles. Selective dorsal rhizotomy has been shown to, reduce spasticity, improve gait (walking) patterns, help people use energy and oxygen more efficiently, improve range of motion and functional mobility, and make it easier to perform self-care activities, such as getting dressed and grooming… Learn More >>

  • Shunt Surgery for Hydrocephalus

At Gillette, shunt placement and management is the most common treatment for hydrocephalus. A shunt is a flexible plastic tube, about 1/8 inch in diameter, with a valve that controls the flow of cerebral spinal fluid draining from the ventricles of the brain. We most often place shunts in the lateral ventricle, where they can drain to the abdomen, the chest or the heart. A fourth type of shunt drains fluid from the lumbar intradural space into the abdomen. Gillette neurologists most often use shunts that drain to the abdomen or the heart. The shunt systems we use typically include a programmable valve, which can control the rate of drainage without additional surgery… Learn More >>

  • Spasticity Treatments

For patients who have spasticity, Gillette provides multidisciplinary spasticity evaluations to determine the best course of treatment. Treatment can involve medications and procedures that reduce muscle spasticity. Treatments might include… Learn More >>