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CONTEXT: Multilevel surgery (MLS) is standard care for reducing musculoskeletal disorders among children with spastic cerebral palsy (CP). OBJECTIVE: To summarize the literature examining effects of MLS and satisfaction with MLS for children with CP. DATA SOURCES: Medline, Embase, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials were searched. STUDY SELECTION: Studies in which authors reported effects of or satisfaction with MLS in children with CP were selected. DATA EXTRACTION: Two authors screened and extracted data on gross motor function, gait speed, gait (eg, Gait Profile Score), range of motion, strength, spasticity, participation, quality of life, satisfaction, and adverse events. RESULTS: Seventy-four studies (3551 participants) were identified. One was a randomized controlled trial (RCT) (n = 19); the remainder were cohort studies. Pooled analysis of cohort studies revealed that MLS did not have a long-term effect on gross motor function (standardized mean difference [SMD]: 0.38; 95% confidence interval [CI]: -0.25 to 1.01) or gait speed (SMD: 0.12; 95% CI: -0.01 to 0.25) but did improve gait (SMD: -0.80; 95% CI: -0.95 to -0.65). The RCT also revealed no effect of MLS on gross motor function but improvements in the Gait Profile Score at 1 year. Participation and quality of life were reported in only 5 studies, and adverse events were adequately reported in 17 studies. LIMITATIONS: Data were largely from cohort studies. CONCLUSIONS: Findings reveal that gait, but not gross motor function, improves after MLS. RCTs and improved reporting of studies of MLS are required.

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