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SPML Surgery

I have spastic quadraplegia cerebral palsy, which affects my legs mostly. My modes of learning are different to most kids as I have an information processing disorder. That said, I am making a lots of progress, with a lot of help.

What I would really love, is to increase my independence and be able to stand and walk more easily.  Dr Nuzzo in New Jersey, USA, has developed a pioneering treatment called SPML (Selective Percutaneous Myofascia Lengthening) that has worked wonders for some of my little friends here in Brisbane. They, like me, had difficulty walking however following the small operation in the US, they are able to walk unaided, run, kick a ball and even climb a tree. The things that most little boys like me take for granted and that I am dreaming to do.

SPML is a non-traditional, orthopaedic tendon/muscle lengthening/release that is minimally invasive, with minimal scarring.

What does SPML stand for?

Selective - refers to select areas of tightness caused by spasticity.


Percutaneous – refers to a procedure performed through the skin using a needle.  An instrument developed for eye surgeries is used to make small (2-3 mm) incisions in the areas of tightness/spasticity.


Myofascialmyo means muscle and fascia is defined as connective tissue made of collagen that covers a muscle or a group of muscles.


Lengthening – surgically creating a relaxation or lengthening of a muscle.

There are two paediatric orthopedic surgeons in the U.S., to my knowledge, who are regularly doing SPML. They are Dr. Roy Nuzzo, in Summit, NJ, who adapted the procedure initially used for cardiac patients, and Dr. David A. Yngve in Galveston, TX, who trained with Dr. Nuzzo. Dr Yngeve has been performing SPML for well over 30 years, having performed over 500 cases. Dr Yngve has called my mum and said that he can help me!  Hear more about SPML and Savanna's story.

Video explanation of Lachie and SPML by Nicholas Draheim, Senior Physiotherapist & Director, Movement Solutions.

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