The Nerves of Us

Nico, a man with spastic diplegia, contemplates the years of unnecessary damage to his bones and joints.

Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) is the only surgery currently in existence that pretty much cures the average case of our spastic diplegia, a form of cerebral palsy that affects approximately 70% of the CP individuals known to science.

While orthopedic deformities may remain depending on how late the rhizotomy was performed, high tone is permanently dissipated, freeing the person to live life with normal muscle tone.

But most doctors won’t tell an adult with CP spasticity that. Most are still under the impression, for whatever reason, that SDR will not work or will not be healthy for a young or middle-aged adult with anything greater than the mildest degree of tone. But there have been several cases, including one as recently as September 2008 performed on a 28-year-old with moderate spastic diplegia, that shows that assumption to be baseless.

The main obstacle is simple: the medical establishment’s mode of thought is still dominant and holds all the power. And usually, we people with spastic diplegia and similar CP-spasticity, accustomed as we are to doctors having more answers and experience than we do, do not look in to the things we are not given.


  1. Yay. Hey, not to use this space to plug other people’s work or anything, but have you seen the movie listings over at the (now defunct) disTHIS Film Series page? They’ve got a lot of stuff over there that is– and there’s no better tagline to use than their own– of the “No handkerchief necessary, no heroism required” variety. The people who ran that event, and the people who run the projects it birthed, are people I used to work with and hang around a lot, and I’m still mega-proud of ’em. I haven’t seen any connection between the stuff you’ve posted here on this site and the stuff that disTHIS and DNNYC historically have posted on theirs, so I figure y’all might not know each other. Which, if that’s the case, it’d be a shame. 🙂 cheers…

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