The Spasticity Center in Denver, Colorado

The Spasticity Center at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children in Denver understands how important it is for your child to be strong and healthy. Whenever your child is having issues with his or her muscles, preventing participation in physical activities, we are here to provide the right treatment.

For more information about this program, call our physician referral phone line at (877) 752-2737.

What is spasticity?

Spasticity, also called hypertonicity, is a condition where certain muscles are always tight or contracted. This causes stiff, tight muscles that interfere with normal movement and activity, speech and walking. This condition affects more than 500,000 people in the U.S.

The damaged portion of the brain or spinal cord that controls voluntary movement causes this condition. This damage causes an imbalance, which leads to increased activity in your child’s muscles.

How does spasticity affect children?

In some children, spasticity can actually help with standing or walking, just by increasing the tone of an otherwise weak muscle. Too much spasticity, however, can restrict the voluntary use of a muscle and limit functional movement.

Sometimes, a movement as simple as walking becomes difficult because the increased tone causes the legs not to bend or move as the child intends. Other times, the contraction of the muscle is so severe and so constant that it causes the joints to become rigid or fixed in one place, which can result in many complications.

Left untreated, spasticity can cause:

  • Chronic pain
  • Depression
  • Hip dislocations
  • Severe orthopedic deformity
  • Skin breakdown
  • Weight loss

Spasticity treatment

Spasticity treatment typically involves multiple options and is largely guided by the functional goals of the patient and the family.

  • Pediatric occupational therapy
  • Pediatric physical therapy
  • Oral medications
  • Use of splints, casts or braces
  • Tendon releases/tenotomy
  • Osteotomies
  • Selective dorsal rhizotomy

Once a treatment plan has been established, we provide you and your primary care physician with a summary and assist with scheduling any therapies or treatments that are recommended.

Our team

We bring together a multispecialty group of pediatric subspecialists to make it easier for patients to see all of the necessary specialists without multiple doctor visits. Using a multidisciplinary approach to spasticity management, the team of fellowship-trained pediatric subspecialists strives to optimize the functional abilities of each child.