Spasticity Clinic

Akron Children's Spasticity Program provides evaluation and treatment for children and teens with spasticity and other neuromuscular difficulties. Read More...

Baird Micah
Micah Baird, MD
Pediatric Physiatrist and Director of Inpatient Rehabilitation

Bono Kenneth
Kenneth Bono, MD
Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon

Chen Tsulee
Tsulee Chen, MD, FAANS
Director, Pediatric Neurosurgery Pediatric Neurosurgeon

Handler-Matasar Sheryl
Sheryl Handler-Matasar, MD
Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon

Mosher Kathryn
Kathryn Mosher, MD
Pediatric Physiatrist Director, Neuromuscular Clinic

Najarian Christopher
Christopher Najarian, MD
Pediatric Physiatrist Director, Spasticity Clinic

Swain Nicole
Nicole Swain PsyD
Pediatric Psychologist

Buck Kirsten
Kirsten Buck, RN
Spasticity Clinic Coordinator

Johnson Tracy
Tracy Johnson, RN
Spasticity Clinic Coordinator

Ripple Lindsay
Lindsay Ripple, OT
Occupational Therapist

Stickle Judith
Judith Stickle, PT
Physical Therapist

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Conditions We Treat

Conditions we treat
Here are some of the conditions treated in this department. Select a condition to get more information and resources: Cerebral Palsy, Muscle Spasticity, and Spasticity Disorders.

Did You Know?

Did You Know?


  • U.S. News & World Report ranks Akron Children's NeuroDevelopmental Science Center one of the best among children's hospitals nationwide.



Spasticity Clinic - Overview

Akron Children’s Hospital’s comprehensive Spasticity Clinic provides evaluation, treatment and coordinated, ongoing care to children and teens who have complex cases of spasticity that may be difficult to treat.

Spasticity is a chronic state of tight or stiff muscle tone that interferes with a patient’s mobility. It can result from a stroke, traumatic brain or spinal cord injury, anoxic brain damage, severe head injury and some metabolic disorders. Spasticity is also one of the hallmark symptoms of cerebral palsy.

Symptoms of spasticity include:

  • Exaggerated deep tendon reflexes (knee-jerk reflexes)
  • Scissoring (when the legs are turned inward and crossed at the knees)
  • Repetitive jerky motions
  • Unusual posturing
  • Carrying the shoulder, arm, wrist and fingers at an abnormal angle

These symptoms can make dressing, eating and other everyday activities very difficult for patients and caregivers, and can interfere with speech. Severe, long-term spasticity may also lead to muscle contracture, causing joints to bend at a fixed position.

The monthly clinic features a multidisciplinary team of pediatric specialists, including pediatric physiatrists (doctors specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation) along with subspecialists and allied health professionals from neurology, neurosurgery, orthopedics, physical and occupational therapy, and social work.

These specialists address all aspects of a child’s spasticity and to provide all the services the child may need in one convenient location. Care is coordinated through all phases of treatment, from medication, leg braces and therapy to surgery and rehabilitation.


What To Expect

During your child's first appointment with our spasticity clinic, our team will evaluate your child’s condition and develop a treatment plan to meet his specific needs. We will review your child’s:

  • developmental and medical history
  • physical health and age
  • cause and extent of spasticity
  • underlying strength and muscle control
  • other possible movement disorders

The spasticity clinic provides the most up-to-date treatment options for treating complex cases of spasticity including botox injections, alcohol nerve blocks, oral medications, leg braces and other devices. For many patients, surgical interventions may also be effective, including:

  • Intrathecal baclofen pump – an implantable device with catheter-infused, tone-reducing medication
  • Dorsal rhizotomy – a neurosurgical procedure of selectively cutting nerve roots in the spinal canal that are causing spasticity in certain muscles
  • Soft tissue lengthening – an orthopedic surgical procedure to correct limb deformities and reduce contractures
  • Derotational osteotomy – an orthopedic surgical procedure to improve limb alignment

Physical and occupational therapy can help improve a patient’s mobility and ability to perform everyday tasks. Rehabilitation following surgery is also an important aspect of treatment and is coordinated through the spasticity clinic to ensure optimal recovery. In addition to traditional outpatient therapy services, Akron Children’s offers an Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit and a Day Rehabilitation Program to provide intensive therapy and rehabilitation.

Our team also includes a pediatric psychologist who assesses the child’s emotional readiness and motivation to participate in ongoing therapy, while supporting the patient family throughout the treatment process


Patient Family Resources

We know you must have questions about your child's condition. We hope you find these articles and links helpful.

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Spasticity Clinic
our locations

Akron Children's Hospital
NeuroDevelopmental Science Center
Considine Professional Building
215 W. Bowery St., Suite 4400
Akron , OH 44308
Phone: 330-543-8050
Fax: 330-543-8054
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