Muscular dystrophy care
Muscular dystrophy is a name for genetic disorders that cause muscle weakness. Muscular dystrophy causes muscles to break down over time, creating fatty deposits. There are more than 30 types of muscular dystrophy; the types vary from mild to severe and affect different muscles. Some types appear in childhood, while others do not appear until adulthood.
Types of muscular dystrophy
- Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD): The most common form of muscular dystrophy. It begins between ages 2 and 5.
- Becker: The second most-common type of muscular dystrophy. While similar to Duchenne muscular dystrophy, this type is less severe.
- Distal: This is a less severe form that usually advances slowly. This type is also called distal myopathy.
- Emery-Dreifuss: This type causes weakness and affects the lower leg and upper arm muscles.
- Facioscapulohumeral: This type affects the face, upper arms and shoulder muscles.
- Limb-girdle: This is a group of more than 20 inherited conditions that cause muscle loss and weakness over time.
- Myotonic dystrophy: This is the most common type of muscular dystrophy in adults. Symptoms can appear in infancy or childhood.
Muscular dystrophy symptoms
- Trouble getting up from sitting or lying down (Gowers’ sign)
- Awkward, clumsy movement
- Trouble climbing stairs
- Frequent trips and falls
- Inability to jump or hop well
- Walking on tiptoes
- Leg pain
- Not able to close eyes or whistle
- Weakness in the shoulder and arms
Treatment plans are based on:
- Your child’s age
- Muscular dystrophy type
- Extent of the condition
- How your child reacts to medications, procedures or therapies
Nonsurgical options can include:
- Physical therapy
- Braces and splints
- Positioning aids
Surgery may be considered to help with your child’s ability to stand or sit. Surgery may be needed if your child experiences scoliosis.
Muscular dystrophy is a lifelong condition. We work with you to maximize your child’s functional potential.
Connect with Norton Children’s Orthopedics of Louisville.
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