[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
April 13, 1963

Management of Progressive Muscular Dystrophy of Childhood

Author Affiliations


From the departments of medicine and orthopaedic surgery, Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and the Muscle Clinic, University Hospitals.; At present, Dr. Archibald is Director of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the New York Hospital—Cornell Medical Center.

JAMA. 1963;184(2):89-96. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03700150043007

In a study of 27 patients with progressive muscular dystrophy of childhood, it was found that duration of ambulation from onset of symptoms could be increased from an average of 4.4 yr to 8.7 yr by a comprehensive rehabilitation program. The program included early diagnosis, close supervision of patients, a physical therapy program with emphasis on passive stretching of flexion contractures about joints, and bracing for ambulation when independent walking was no longer possible. The total increase in ambulation will be greater, since eight patients are still walking independently in braces. This positive program is directed toward assisting the patient to lead as normal a life as possible, both physically and emotionally. The better preservation of the child's physical status should increase the chance for benefit from any future specific pharmacologic therapy.