This article reviews the current best evidence for musculoskeletal interventions in children with ambulatory cerebral palsy (CP). The effectiveness of interventions in CP must first consider what CP and its associated pathophysiology are and take into account the heterogeneity and natural history of CP to put definitions of “effectiveness” into perspective. This article reviews the current standards of the definition and classification of CP, discusses the natural history and specific goals for the management of ambulatory CP, as well as the outcome measures available to measure these goals. The current best evidence of effectiveness is reviewed for specific interventions in children with ambulatory CP including spasticity management with botulinum toxin A injections and selective dorsal rhizotomy; multilevel orthopaedic surgery to address contractures and bony deformity; and the role of gait analysis for surgical decision-making before orthopaedic surgery.
*Divisions of Orthopaedic Surgery & Child Health Evaluative Sciences, The Hospital for Sick Children
†Bloorview Research Institute, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
The author has not received financial support for this manuscript.
The author declares no conflict of interest.
Reprints: Unni G. Narayanan, MBBS, MSc, FRCS(C), The Hospital for Sick Children, 555 University Avenue, S-107, Toronto, ON, Canada M5G 1x8. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.