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MEDICINA E CHIRURGIA DELLA CAVIGLIA E DEL PIEDE

A Journal on Physiopathology and Surgery of the Foot


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Chirurgia Del Piede 1999 March;23(1):21-6

language: Italian

The foot in the lower limb flaccid paralysis. The role of neurophysiology in motor neuron diseases

Polo A., Zambito A., Fusina S., Di Summa A., Aldegheri R.


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Motor neuron paralysis is the direct result of loss of function or destruction of anterior horn cells or their axons in anterior roots and nerves. Neurological diseases occurring very early in life may be associated to developmental bone deformities with varying degrees of disability. In this paper, the significance of the electrophysiological abnormalities in the evaluation of patients affected by ''polio syndrome'' and spina bifida have been reviewed. Electromyography is the test of choice for investigating muscle balance in polio patients: changes in amplitude and morphology of the motor unit potentials may be of great value in understanding dynamic changes in patients at increased risk for developing new muscle weakness (post-polio syndrome).
Somatosensory evoked potentials and magnetic brain and spinal stimulation can be considered valuable tools for the assessment of spinal cord function in children with spina bifida. The occurrence of long-tract signs, such as muscle weakness in lower limbs with hyperreflexia, could appear later with worsening of the disease and is often indicative of tethered cord: the electrophysiological monitoring may be useful to identify the nervous dysfunction as early as possible.

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