SPIRiT is a physical therapy (PT) outpatient intensive program implemented after Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) surgery once your child has been discharged from the hospital. Your child will participate in physical therapy 2-5 times per week, with greater intensity immediately after SDR surgery.

  • Occupational therapy (OT) services on a once-per-week basis may be included in the rehabilitation process, depending upon the needs of the child.
  • The program is divided into varying stages of intensity for one year and beyond after surgery
  • The family is educated in ongoing home programming to provide carryover of new skills.

After the surgery called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR), we offer an intensive, therapy program. It includes:

  • Physical therapy (PT) visits scheduled 2-5 times per week. Intensity is greatest immediately after surgery and decreases in stages up to a year after surgery.
  • If needed, occupational therapy (OT) services once per week
  • Home programming for the family to practice skills

Why Choose Us?

The recommended frequency of therapy at Cincinnati Children's is in line with the current evidence referenced below, and best clinical practice.

1.) Engsberg, JR, Ross, Sa, Collins, DR, Park TS.  Effect of selective dorsal rhizotomy in the treatment of children with cerebral palsy.  J Neurosurg.  2006; 105: 8-15. 

2.) Graubert, C, Song, KM, McLaughlin, JF, Bjornson, KF.  Changes in gait at 1-year post-selective dorsal rhizotomy:  results of a prospective randomized study.  J Pediatric Orthopaedics.  2000; 20(4): 496-500. 

3.) McLaughlin JF, Bjornson K, Steinbok P, Wright V, Reiner A, Roberts T, Drake, J, O’Donnell M, Rosenbaum P, Barber J, Ferrel A.  Selective dorsal rhizotomy:  meta-analysis of three randomized controlled trials.  Dev Med & Child Neuro.  2002; 44:  17-25.

4.) McLaughlin J, Bjornson, K, Astley, S, Hays, R, Hoffinger, S, Armantrout, E, Roberts, T.  The role of selective dorsal rhizotomy in cerebral palsy:  critical evaluation of a prospective clinical series.  Dev Med & Child Neuro.  1994; 36:  755-769.

5.) Wright FV, Sheil EM, Drake JM, Wedge JH, Naumann S.  Evaluation of selective dorsal rhizotomy for the reduction of spasticity in cerebral palsy:  a randomized controlled trial.  Dev Med & Child Neuro.  1998; 40:  239-247.

Strengths of our program include:

  • A team oriented approach with you and your physician
  • Therapy programs specific to your child
  • Established phases of treatment during the rehab process
  • A comprehensive ongoing home exercise program         
  • Access to state-of-the-art equipment including: Lokomat©, Armeo©, Motion Analysis Lab, Aquatics, Universal Exercise Unit, LiteGait©, Biodex, and an on-site Durable Medical Equipment department 

Who Can Benefit? 

Children who have undergone a recent SDR surgery at Cincinnati Children's, or another medical facility, can benefit from the SPIRiT program.

Location of Service

Our outpatient SPIRiT program is offered at our Main (Burnet) Campus, and several of our neighborhood locations. Your child may need to be seen at more than one location due to the intensive nature of the program.