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Spasticity management service

This information has been produced to explain what will happen when your child attends the spasticity management clinic.

What is a spasticity clinic?

The spasticity management clinic provides assessment and management of complex spasticity or dystonia (abnormal muscle stiffness) due to neurological disorders in children and young people.

Why has my child been referred to this clinic?

Doctors and physiotherapists make referrals to this clinic when they feel that a child has some spasticity or dystonia (abnormal muscle stiffness) that is affecting how they move and develop. They may ask the team for advice about managing this abnormal muscle stiffness when the child is very young, to keep an eye on their development, or when a child is older.

Who will be in the clinic?

There is a multidisciplinary paediatric team in the clinic. This includes the following:

  • Consultant neurologist
  • Consultant orthopaedic surgeon
  • Consultant neurosurgeon
  • Neurology nurse specialist
  • Physiotherapist

What happens in the clinic?

The team will talk to you and your child about their condition and then do an assessment to:

  • identify how the spasticity or dystonia affects your child on a daily basis
  • identify any factors which are making the spasticity or dystonia worse
  • carry out a brief physical assessment of your child by looking at how stiff the arms and legs are when moved, and how much your child can move themselves

What happens after this assessment?

At the clinic, the team will discuss with you the options to help manage your child’s muscle stiffness. There are many options available to help manage spasticity and dystonia. These may include advice for physiotherapy or occupational therapy, splints or orthotics, different oral medications, injections, or in some cases surgery.

The team will discuss the goals of the treatment. For example make getting clothes on easier, ease pain, help with moving, standing or walking, or to allow your child to tolerate their splints and equipment for longer periods.

If the team think your child would benefit from any of these treatment options, a management plan will be agreed with the team and you.

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Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

Resource number: NLG4

Resource Type: Article

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