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Is Selective Percutaneous Myofascial Lengthening an Effective Treatment for Children with Cerebral Palsy?

Published May 2018

Download the full evidence summary PDF: Selective Percutaneous Myofascial Lengthening

What Were We Asked?

We were asked about the effectiveness of Selective Percutaneous Myofascial Lengthening (SPML) for children with cerebral palsy. We looked instead for any studies comparing SPML to conventional orthopaedic surgery to lengthen muscles and tendons.

Key Findings

  • Selective Percutaneous Myofascial Lengthening (SPML) is a surgical procedure that aims to lengthen certain muscles, or to reduce tone in the muscles.
  • The procedure involves making small cuts through the skin to reach and divide the connective tissue around muscles.
  • Advocates claim that SPML will improve the ability of children with cerebral palsy to sit, stand or walk.
  • Only one published, peer-reviewed study was identified that looked specifically at the effectiveness of Selective Percutaneous Myofascial Lengthening.
  • There is currently no high quality evidence for the effectiveness and safety of this surgery for children with cerebral palsy.

Note: This information is produced by PenCRU researchers and reviewed by external experts. The views expressed are those of PenCRU at the University of Exeter Medical School and do not represent the views of the Cerebra charity, or any other parties mentioned. We strongly recommend seeking medical advice before undertaking any treatments/therapies.