Kugelberg Welander Spinal Muscular Atrophy Follow-up

Updated: Apr 27, 2016
  • Author: Joyce L Oleszek, MD; Chief Editor: Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA  more...
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Follow-up

Further Outpatient Care

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  • Patients with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) should have frequent follow-up care for symptomatic control of their disease. Respiratory function, nutritional state, orthopedic status, and equipment needs should be assessed at each visit. Pain control, preventative medicine, surgical intervention, and physical therapy are all essential parts of the patient's long-term care. The multidisciplinary approach, which includes family members, social workers, therapists, and physicians, is important to assist the patient in maintaining a high quality of life.

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Complications

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  • Scoliosis

  • Plantar flexion contractures

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Prognosis

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  • Patients with spinal muscular atrophy experience a progressive loss of motor function that usually affects the legs before it does the arms, and the proximal muscles before the distal ones.

  • Patients who have never climbed stairs without a rail lose walking ability by their midteens. Patients who develop normal walking skills prior to the onset of muscle weakness can maintain this ability until the third or fourth decade.

  • Life expectancy for individuals with SMA type III has been shown to be similar to that of the general population. [5]

  • See Mortality/Morbidity.

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