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Guides & Guidelines

Orthopedic and surgical management of the patient with Duchenne muscular dystrophy

key information

source: Pediatrics

year: 2018

authors: Apkon SD, Alman B, Birnkrant DJ, Fitch R, Lark R, Mackenzie W, Weidner N, Sussman M


Orthopedic care is an important aspect of the overall management of patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). In addition to progressive muscle weakness and loss of function, patients may develop joint contractures, scoliosis, and osteoporosis, causing fractures; all of these necessitate intervention by a multidisciplinary team including an orthopedic surgeon as well as rehabilitation specialists such as physio- and occupational therapists. The causes of these musculoskeletal complications are multifactorial and are related to primary effects on the muscles from the disease itself, secondary effects from weak muscles, and the related side effects of treatments, such as glucocorticoid use that affect bone strength.

The musculoskeletal manifestations of DMD change over time as the disease progresses, and therefore, musculoskeletal management needs change throughout the life span of an individual with DMD. In this review, we target pediatricians, neurologists, orthopedic surgeons, rehabilitation physicians, anesthesiologists, and other individuals involved in the management of patients with DMD by providing specific recommendations to guide clinical practice related to orthopedic issues and surgical management in this setting.

organization: Seattle Children's Hospital, USA; Duke University Medical Center, USA; Case Western Reserve University, USA; Duke University Health System, USA; Nemours/Alfred I Dupont Hospital for Children, USA; Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, USA; Shriner's Hospital for Children, USA

DOI: 10.1542/peds.2018-0333J

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