Spasticity is a muscle control disorder that can be identified by the tightness or stiffness of certain muscles, or muscle groups, as well as the inability to control these muscles. It is also characterised by prolonged reflexes or reflexes that are too strong (also known as hyperactive reflexes).
Spasticity is caused by the imbalance of signals from the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) to the muscles. Often, this imbalance is found in people who have suffered from nervous system injuries, or defects, including cerebral palsy, brain and spinal cord injuries, strokes, and multiple sclerosis.
Chemodenervation is a treatment where a medication or compound is injected into the patient in order to disrupt the motor activity of a muscle or group of muscles. The goal of the treatment is to reduce the tightness of the muscle and allow it to relax, decrease pain, allow more movement, and prevent other problems due to spasticity such as skin breakdown.
Services & Procedures Offered
Chemodenervation requires the doctor to inject patient with one of many chemicals which include phenol, alcohol preparations, or botulinum toxin. During the consultation, the doctor will do an examination to determine which muscles to treat by observing patient’s movement, the control over patient’s movements, and how they affect patient’s everyday activities.The discomfort level of the procedure varies depending on the patient. Muscle soreness may persist for several hours, but should not last beyond a day. Medication can be prescribed prior to the treatment to reduce the discomfort, as well as any anxiety the patient may feel.
The procedure typically takes 45 to 60 minutes, however, this depends on the number of muscles being treated.
Risks involved in this procedure depend largely on the patient’s response to the chemicals injected. Serious but rare risks include a severe allergic response and respiratory problems.
The consulting doctor will brief patient on all details and risks, address concerns patient may have, and make an assessment of patient’s condition before proceeding with the treatment.