Kimon Bekelis MD (Dr. Bekelis of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center has no relevant financial relationships to disclose.)
Robert J Singer MD (Dr. Singer of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center/Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth has no relevant financial relationships to disclose.)
Bernard L Maria MD, editor. (Dr. Maria of Thomas Jefferson University has no relevant financial relationships to disclose.)
Originally released August 14, 1998; last updated September 12, 2016; expires September 12, 2019
Notice: This article has expired and is therefore not available for CME credit.

Historical note and terminology

Treatment for spasticity was documented as early as the late 19th century, when surgeons Abbe and Bennet discussed decreasing tone in a spastic limb through sensory rhizotomies. Later, in 1898, the scientist Sherrington published experiments in which the sensory roots of spastic cats were severed to relieve spasticity (Abbott 1996). The technique of sensory rhizotomies has been improved on and continues to be used today as a treatment for patients with spasticity as does neuromuscular blockage, a longstanding treatment, which has been used for over 30 years (Koman et al 1996).

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