Management of hypertonia in cerebral palsy

Nickolas J. Nahm, H. Kerr Graham, Mark E. Gormley, Andrew G. Georgiadis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Purpose of review: The review provides an update on the treatment of hypertonia in cerebral palsy, including physical management, pharmacotherapy, neurosurgical, and orthopedic procedures. Recent findings: Serial casting potentiates the effect of Botulinum neurotoxin A injections for spasticity. Deep brain stimulation, intraventricular baclofen, and ventral and dorsal rhizotomy are emerging tools for the treatment of dystonia and/or mixed tone. The long-term results of selective dorsal rhizotomy and the timing of orthopedic surgery represent recent advances in the surgical management of hypertonia. Summary: Management of hypertonia in cerebral palsy targets the functional goals of the patient and caregiver. Treatment options are conceptualized as surgical or nonsurgical, focal or generalized, and reversible or irreversible. The role of pharmacologic therapies is to improve function and mitigate adverse effects. Further investigation, including clinical trials, is required to determine the role of deep brain stimulation, intraventricular baclofen, orthopedic procedures for dystonia, and rhizotomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-64
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Pediatrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • cerebral palsy
  • dystonia
  • hypertonia
  • spasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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