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November 1951

NEUROLOGICAL CHANGES IN ANTERIOR POLIOMYELITIS AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS IN TREATMENT

Author Affiliations

NEW YORK

From the Department of Neurological Surgery, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and the Neurological Institute of New York, Presbyterian Hospital.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1951;66(5):600-605. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1951.02320110065005
Abstract

THE TREATMENT of the motor aspects of acute and subacute anterior poliomyelitis has changed strikingly within the past 10 yr. Present modes of therapy place stress on maintenance of muscle length by range-of-motion and stretching exercises. These techniques are in direct contrast with the traditional routine of immobilizing affected structures in positions designed to prevent chronic deformities due to paresis.

Although Sister Kenny's principles of therapy were largely responsible for the present emphasis on early physical therapy and the discarding of immobilization, they are by no means new. Lovett,1 in 1916, clearly advocated muscle training as an integral part of treatment. However, Townsend,2 in the same year, and Kendall and Kendall,3 in 1938, enthusiastically endorsed long-term bed rest and fixation of involved extremities. Lovett's principles seemed in less vogue than the latter up to the present decade, when Sister Kenny's advent and highly publicized preachments in part

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