Muscular Dystrophy

Muscular dystrophy is a genetic disorder that weakens muscles and may cause deformities in the joints. Children with muscular dystrophy are usually diagnosed between the ages of three and six.

The CNSI specialist is trained in the diagnosis of muscular dystrophy. While there is no cure for the disorder, our skilled professionals are dedicated to treating the symptoms of muscular dystrophy and providing supportive care.

What is Muscular Dystrophy?

Muscular dystrophy is a genetic disease in which the voluntary muscles progressively weaken or deteriorate, limiting movement and making routine tasks difficult to perform. Muscles usually start to weaken before the age of five, although some adults develop symptoms and are diagnosed with the disease.

There are many different types of muscular dystrophy, each affecting a specific group of muscles. The severity of the symptoms and the speed at which the disease progresses can vary. Symptoms can include trouble walking or jumping, enlarged calf muscles, difficulty climbing stairs, and frequent falls. 

Diagnosing Muscular Dystrophy

A doctor may take a complete medical history, perform a physical examination, and order certain tests to diagnose muscular dystrophy. A physician may observe the way the patient walks or stands, and ask him or her to perform certain physical tasks in order to identify signs of the disorder.

Physicians may also run the following tests to diagnose muscular dystrophy:

Treatment for Muscular Dystrophy

There is no cure for muscular dystrophy, but there are treatments for the symptoms and ways for patients to have an improved quality of life.

Physical therapy may improve a patient’s mobility and braces for his or her legs can aid their movement. Some medications can build muscle strength and slow degeneration. Assistive devices like walkers, wheelchairs, and canes help patients with mobility and support their independence.

In some cases, surgery may be an option to correct some of the physical damage caused by muscular dystrophy. A patient who spends a lot of time in a wheelchair could develop a curved spine that may be improved with surgery. Physicians may recommend tendon release surgery to treat severely stiffened joints.