Spasticity Center

St. Joseph's Children's Hospital's Spasticity Center provides medical and surgical care for children with spasticity and other movement disorders. Our multidisciplinary team of dedicated and highly skilled specialists work together to treat each child's specific needs.

What is spasticity?  

Spasticity is the involuntary tightening of muscles and is often associated with disease or injury of the brain and/or spine.

What causes spasticity?

The cause of spasticity is unknown. However, it occurs regularly in individuals with certain conditions including

  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Spina Bifida
  • Stroke
  • Head Injury
  • Spinal Cord Injury

What is a Spasticity Clinic?

A team of specially trained therapists and physicians who evaluate a child, discuss as a group and make recommendations.  SJCH clinic consists of the following specialists:

  • Pediatric Physiatry
  • Pediatric Neurosurgery
  • Pediatric Orthopedics
  • Pediatric Neurology
  • Pediatric Physical Therapy
  • Nurse Navigator

Benefits of going to a Spasticity Clinic

Attending a spasticity clinic allows all specialists to evaluate and discuss the appropriate care for a child at one time. It saves time from multiple appointments and it assures good communication between the professionals providing care for the child.

Who would be appropriate to be evaluated in Spasticity Clinic?

Children who have functional problems that are determined to be caused by spasticity are appropriate to be evaluated in the clinic.  These include problems with walking, sitting, bathing, toileting, and other activities that can be affected by spastic muscles.  Children who have muscle tightness or other problems that are not caused by spasticity are not appropriate for this clinic.

Possible recommendations for treatment of spasticity

  • Change of medications
  • Botox
  • Therapy (Physical, Occupational, Speech)
  • Serial Casting
  • Splinting
  • Wheelchair modifications
  • Orthopedic surgeries (spinal fusions, osteotomies)
  • Dorsal Rhizotomies
  • Baclofen pumps

For more information, please call our Patient Navigator at (813) 554-8727.