Neuromuscular Disease in Children
What is Neuromuscular Disease?
The neuromuscular system includes all muscles throughout the body and the nerves that connect them. Pediatric neuromuscular disease affects children's muscles, nerves, or the junction between muscles and nerves.
Children can be born with neuromuscular conditions or they can develop it in adolescence and adulthood. Children with neuromuscular conditions typically require special care and attention during their growth to give them optimal function. Surgery can often be avoided by different therapies, braces, stretching, injections, and medicine.
Symptoms of Neuromuscular Disorders
- Low muscle tone or weakness of limbs
- Walking abnormalities (e.g., toe walking, excessive clumsiness or poor balance)
- Joint contracture
- Delays or regression in motor development
Neuromuscular disorders include a wide-range of diseases affecting the peripheral nervous system. Here is a small list of common nueomuscular disorders found in children.
- Cerebral Palsy
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Spinal Muscular Atrophy
- Charcot Marie Tooth (Hereditary Motor Sensory Neuropathy)
- Connective Tissue Disorders, including Marfan’s Syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
- Myelodysplasia, including Spina Bifida and Myelomeningocele
- Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome)
- Congenital Myopathy
The evaluation of children for neuromuscular conditions is only necessary when symptoms such as developmental delays, muscle weakness and movement abnormalities occur. A combination of tests will occur to help diagnose a neuromuscular disease. Although most neuromuscular disorders can’t be cured, proper treatment can lower the intensity and slow the progression of its symptoms.
If you think your child may have a neuromuscular disease reach out to your primary care provider who can refer you to a specialist.
Pediatric Orthopedics of SWFL Locations
Fort Myers: 15821 Hollyfern Court, Fort Myers, FL 33908
Naples: 3361 Pine Ridge Rd, Suite 202, Naples, FL 34109
Phone : 239-432-5100
Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM