Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) and Children's Physio


WHEEN PHYSIO FOR CHILDREN works with children pre-SDR and post-SDR. We aim to improve strength, quality of movement and gross motor skills to enure the optimum results for the operation.

SDR is a procedure which reduces or eradicates spasticity in the lower limbs for children with Cerebral Palsy - Spastic Diplegia. It was pioneered in St Louis (USA) by Dr Park and is currently being performed in relativley few centres in the UK. Frenchay hospital, Bristol is the second longest established centre in the UK.


The surgery requires intensive physiotherapy to achieve maximal results. Dr Parks recommends pre-operative therapy for preparation and then post-operativly 4-5 times per week for the first 4 months and then reducing gradually over the next 2 years. He also recommends increasing general activity using extra modalities such as swimming or hydrotherapy. Bristol recommends 2-3 times per week for the first 4 months and then reducing gradually over the next 2 years. Please see the St Louis website for more details on the procedure.




Unfortunately the surgery and therapy are not always funded by the NHS. Please ask your local NHS Trust about what physiotherapy will be provided pre and post-operatively.


Wheen Physio for Children provides pre-operative and post-operative therapy, including hydrotherapy, to ensure the best possible results from the surgery. We ensure close links with the NHS therapists to ensure we provide the best input for your child.


Pre SDR Physio


We work on strength and control of the legs and trunk - concentrating on the antigravity muscles which will be weakest post op. We aim to improve gross motor skills and function with as close to normal movement patterns as possible. Pre-op physio has been shown to speed up recovery after SDR and it is also ideal to get a good relationship between the therapist and child before the operation.


Post SDR Physio


We are able to provide regular therapy in your home or at clinic when you return home from hospital. We aim to improve ranges of motion, strengthen the weak muscles in trunk and legs, improve reciprocal movements and improve movement patterns with the aim of progressing motor milestones and mobilty. This is done through play and activities to ensure your child stays motivated.

We use Kinesio Taping and Functional Electrical Stimulation as adjuncts to regular therapy.

We are also able to provide 1:1 hydrotherapy.


We have strong links with the Bristol SDR team and with several fitness instructors who see children with SDR which ensures we are able to provide the support and information you require to help your child through this challenging but life changing time.


We also have links with Tree of Hope - a charity which helps parents fundraise for the surgery and therapy. Please visit their website for more details.

Make an Appointment

Bristol, BS6 6LJ

Tel; 07773553112


Freeways Day Centre

Pill Road

Abbots Leigh





Freeways Clinic 
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