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J Pediatr Orthop. 1991 Sep-Oct;11(5):579-82.

Community ambulation by children with myelomeningocele and high-level paralysis.

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Children's Seashore House, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, PA 19104.


It has frequently been noted that high-level paralysis precludes community ambulation for children with myelomeningocele. Of the 87 children in our population with high-level paralysis, however, 45 (52%) did achieve community ambulation by 5 years of age, while 42 (48%) did not. There was no significant difference between these two groups by sex, shunt status, scoliosis, or hip surgery prior to 5 years of age. Among the community ambulating group, there were significantly (p less than 0.001) more children who were not retarded, had received physical therapy for walking, and had compliant parents. We concluded, therefore, that community ambulation is a realistic goal for many children with myelomeningocele and high-level paralysis.

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