What are the categories of surgical interventions for the management of muscular dystrophy?

Updated: Aug 17, 2020
  • Author: Twee T Do, MD; Chief Editor: Jeffrey D Thomson, MD  more...
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The surgical approaches to contractures in dystrophic patients, especially those with Duchenne MD, can be summarized into the following three broad categories:

  • Ambulatory
  • Rehabilitative
  • Palliative

Within the ambulatory group, the approach can be aggressive, so that all contractures are addressed at the start, before patients lose ambulatory status or within the first month of their losing ambulatory status. The rehabilitative approach indicates that surgery is used only to correct deformities that may limit physical therapy and orthosis wear. The palliative approach, as its name implies, is used to treat only problems of immediate concern for the patient's comfort, such as difficulty with shoe wearing, ulcerations, and problematic positioning in wheelchairs. Early aggressive surgical releases can prolong the patient's ambulatory status as long as 3.5 years. [56, 57]

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