Spina Bifida – Walking by Age and Injury Level.

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)


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