Last week I had the pleasure of attending a working about spina bifida and gait.
The following is a table from that presentation which indicates the age at which a child with spina bifida started and stopped walking based on the research project being reviewed.
|Thoracic||High Lumbar L1-L2||Mid Lumbar L3||Low Lumbar L4-L5||Sacral|
|Number that walked||7/35 (20%)||5/10 (50%)||9/15 (60%)||38/45 (84%)||68/68 (100%)|
|Average age of started walking||4y 6mo||5y 2mo||5y||3y 10mo||2y 2mo|
|Number that stopped walking||3/7 (43%)||3/5 (60%)||3/9 (33%)||5/38 (13%)||0/68 (0%)|
|Average age of stopped walking||6y 9 mo||6y 11mo||7y||9y 1 mo||N/A|
*Walking was defined as complete ambulatory function with or without aids or braces although a WC or stroller may be used for long distances. Walking only in the home, for therapeutic purposes only, or requiring assistance in the application and removal of aids/ braces were not counted.
*Likely reasons for stopping walking: rapid growth which necessitates frequent fitting of new orthoses, weight gain, spinal cord tethering
Resource: Williams, E., Broughton, N., Menelaus, M. (1999)