Children's Hospital Colorado
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Pediatric experts in our Spasticity and Tone Management Clinic treat spasticity (stiffness in the muscles) and dystonia (muscle contractions) related to cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries, severe brain injuries and several other diagnoses. Our multidisciplinary care team uses their 30+ years of experience to help families manage spasticity, tonicity and abnormal muscle function in children and adolescents with these conditions.

The clinic includes many professionals across a number of disciplines who work together to create individualized treatment plans for each patient. They are experts in physical therapy, occupational therapy, radiology, neurosurgery, physical medicine and rehabilitation, orthopedics and neurology. Our program works closely with an on-site neurosurgeon who is involved in decision-making and tone management for our patients, and experts from our nationally recognized gait lab is involved in both surgical and non-surgical treatment. Several of our rehab physicians have even been recognized by 5280 as Top Doctors in the Denver metro area.

Spasticity and tone conditions we treat

We treat conditions that affect spasticity and tone, including but not limited to:

Spasticity management services we offer

There are several programs that provide support to patients with dystonia and spasticity. These include the Surgical Tone Clinic, Complex Movement Disorder Clinic and our rehabilitation clinics.

Our rehabilitation physicians also specialize in focal area injections of Botox (Botulism toxin) and phenol (phenolic acid), substances that have been proven highly effective for spasticity and dystonia management. Our pediatric rehabilitation programs have been involved in multicenter studies demonstrating the safety and ethical use of Botox in children with spasticity.

Within our clinics, we offer services and tests for spasticity management, including:

  • Baclofen test dose. This will help us determine how your child's body reacts to Baclofen, a muscle relaxant.
  • Gait lab analysis
  • Basic physical exams

Treatments for spasticity and tone conditions

Every child with spasticity or tonicity issues has different needs and concerns, which is why we use a multidisciplinary approach to treatment. Depending on the needs of your child, we may recommend:

  • Baclofen pump implants: These pumps deliver Baclofen, a muscle relaxant, straight to spinal fluid, increasing its effectiveness. Our clinical team has been implanting Baclofen pumps for more than 20 years and are experts in this form of spasticity treatment.
  • Botox and/or phenol injections: Both injections help to block the nerves that tell muscles to contract. This can help improve spasticity and tone, as well as relieve pain.
  • Selective dorsal rhizotomy: This surgery is designed to stop the signal passed from nerves in the spinal cord to the lower extremities. It may help with overall gait, stability and pain management.
  • Medication management: Medications designed to decrease muscle pain and prevent contractions are another form of treatment for patients with spasticity conditions.

Why choose Children's Colorado for spasticity and dystonia treatment?

At the Spasticity and Tone Management Clinic, we see a large population of children with complex neurological disorders. Because of our team's extensive experience in treating spasticity and dystonia, we provide exceptional care and cutting-edge treatments for children and adolescents. Our clinic has also served in multiple research studies regarding the treatment of spasticity in children with the use of Botox. Thanks to our involvement in this research, we can offer injection treatments that improve outcomes for patients with a variety of muscle-affecting disorders.

Contact us

You can reach the Spasticity and Tone Management Clinic at 720-777-2806.

Get to know our pediatric experts.

Joyce Oleszek, MD

Joyce Oleszek, MD

Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation - Pediatric, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Kim Sawyer, CPNP-PC

Kim Sawyer, CPNP-PC

Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner