How is ambulatory capability predicted in cauda equina and conus medullaris syndromes?

Updated: Jun 14, 2018
  • Author: Segun Toyin Dawodu, JD, MD, MS, MBA, LLM, FAAPMR, FAANEM; Chief Editor: Nicholas Lorenzo, MD, CPE, MHCM, FAAPL  more...
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Ambulatory motor index also is used to predict ambulatory capability. It is calculated by scoring hip flexion, hip abduction, hip extension, knee extension, and knee flexion on both sides, using a 4-point scale (0=absent, 1=trace/poor, 2=fair, 3=good or normal); the score is expressed as a percentage of the maximum score of 30. Prognostic significance is as follows:

  • A patient with a score of 60% or more has a good chance for community ambulation with no more than one knee-ankle-foot orthosis (KAFO)

  • A patient with a score of 79% or higher may not need an orthosis

  • A patient with a score of 40% or less may require 2 KAFOs for community ambulation

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