Institut Guttmann

Neurorehabilitation hospital

+34 93 497 77 00

Post-polio Syndrome

Poliomyelitis is a neurological disease caused by the polio virus.

Fortunately, in our country thanks to vaccination campaigns systematically initiated in 1963, it is virtually eradicated since the late 1960s. In 1988, the last case was reported. In recent years, we have found new cases among the immigrant population or in people after travelling to countries where it is still endemic. It is estimated that in Spain, 35,000 people suffered the effects of the disease.

Over the years, people affected by poliomyelitis can develop musculoskeletal complications resulting from the neurological disease such as scoliosis, tendon pathology in the back, peripheral nerve entrapment from the use of walking aids or from the use of wheelchairs, respiratory failure, fractures from osteoporosis and, ultimately, loss of functionality and autonomy.

A small percentage of these people can develop the what is called post-polio syndrome, consisting of the appearance of muscle weakness in addition to the foregoing, but the weakness is not attributed to disuse. This muscle weakness may or may not be accompanied by fatigue, myalgia, muscular atrophy and subsequent loss of functionality. If electromyographic changes are seen, we can see that is truly a post-polio syndrome (Halstead's criteria).

In this condition, the prevention of functional deterioration, by monitoring by an expert clinician, along with those indicated surgical rehabilitation acts and good maintenance, are the best treatment option today.


References about Post-polio Syndrome