What is it about?

Most developed countries eliminated paralytic poliomyelitis (polio) in the 1970s to 1980s. It was believed that after recovery from acute paralytic poliomyelitis, the physical condition of survivors would remain stable for the rest of their lives. However, the elimination of polio does not equate the end of medical management of polio. Hundreds of thousands of polio survivors worldwide are still at risk of developing the late effects of the disease. Here, we report a case of post-polio syndrome who attended our clinic for the presence of new weakness and neuromuscular problems six decades after recovery from paralytic polio. It is essential that health professionals be aware of these conditions and have an understanding of the underlying pathophysiology of the symptoms.

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Why is it important?

Post-polio syndrome is related to the exhaustion of the motor units that form decades after the polio attack. This case report describes the effectiveness of manual interventions in assisting our patient in restoring the level of function and alleviating pain. The limitation of the current report is that it is just a single case. Further comparison with more existing therapeutic regimens is warranted to clarify these issues.


A 59-year-old woman presented with back pain, progressive muscle weakness and cramps in the left leg. She gave a history of paralytic polio at the age of 2, which left her with permanent flaccid weakness in the left upper limb. She stated that her left leg was also initially affected but it had subsequently recovered. The new symptoms (weakness and cramps) were mainly in the muscle groups of the left (recovered) leg, progressing for over one year. The leg weakness was accompanied by low back soreness. After consulting her orthopedic doctor, she was prescribed with ibuprofen (a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug), which provided little relief.

Dr Eric Chun-Pu Chu
New York Medical Group

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Post-poliomyelitis syndrome, International Medical Case Reports Journal, August 2019, Dove Medical Press,
DOI: 10.2147/imcrj.s219481.
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