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Collaborative Spasticity Program

What is the Collaborative Spasticity Program?

The Collaborative Spasticity Program (CSP) is a unique multidisciplinary and multimodal program (comprised of orthotists,  physician specialists in Rehabilitation Medicine, and physiotherapists) who meet to set and address realistic functional goals for patients with spasticity.  The program is based in the Fisher Building of the Queen Alexandra Centre alongside the Orthotics, Prosthetics, and Seating departments.

The program primarily caters to adult patients experiencing spasticity caused by stroke, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, acquired brain injury or spinal cord injury. We do not cure these conditions, but collaborate to address the negative functional effects of spasticity as much as feasible within the constraints of the disability.

The program examines the potential of combining 3 modalities: Botulinum toxin, physiotherapy, and orthotic/ bracing towards achieving realistic functional goals for patients who present with spasticity; treatment goals are individualized and specific.

For patients who are either ambulatory or have the potential of becoming ambulatory, the overarching goal is to:

  • improve safe ambulation of our patients to enhance the possibility of achieving improved cardiovascular fitness and overall health; 
  • to facilitate connection to established rehabilitation clinics and exercise programs within the community;
  • and to assess and track our patients’ progress the using our Gait Lab - which includes video analysis (Dartfish) and pressure-mat (Gaitrite), gait measurement software. 

We are the only spasticity clinic in Canada that combines these two software programs to facilitate decisions about treatment and assess its effectiveness.

The Collaborative Spasticity Program is currently involved in clinical research with the University of Victoria to evaluate the effectiveness of the multidisciplinary and multimodal program approach to treat spasticity in community ambulatory patients.

For non-ambulatory patients the combination of Botulinum toxin, physiotherapy, and orthotics can be effective in addressing pain caused by spasticity in the arm and hand.  For wheelchair bound patients with spasticity Botulinum toxin may be helpful in assisting difficult seating issues.

The collaborative Spasticity Program is evolving, but has as its mandate:

  • A desire to collaborate with clinics across Canada, to share our experience and facilitate optimal care of every Canadian with spasticity.
  • A desire to offer educational opportunities for volunteers interested in pursuing careers in ours or related healthcare disciplines.
  • A desire to act as a resource for all clinicians in Vancouver island, ( to share patient management as much as possible, communicating  via telehealth as feasible).
  • A desire to raise the profile of our respective disciplines across the country with a view towards increasing public  and interdisciplinary awareness not only of what we offer, but also of collaborative medicine.
  • A desire to attract colleagues interested in participating towards the sustainability of the program.
  • A desire to attract community funding/philanthropy towards sustainability of the program (without taking money away from much needed existing programs in these times of economic constraint and health care budgetary crisis).

Caroline Quartly MD FRCPC
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

 

"We are not here for ourselves alone" 

                                                        Vincent Van Gogh