Acute flaccid myelitis: Rehabilitation challenges and outcomes in a pediatric cohort

Michelle E. Melicosta, Janet Dean, Kaitlin Hagen, Kathleen Oppenheimer, Courtney Porter, Suzanne Rybczynski, Cynthia Salorio, Cristina Sadowsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To describe one institution's experience in the rehabilitation of children with acute flaccid myelitis (AFM). This study reviews the medical and rehabilitative course and functional outcomes of a cohort of children who underwent Activity Based Restorative Therapy (ABRT) at a single center. METHODS: Children with AFM presenting for rehabilitation between March 2005 and January 2017 were identified and a retrospective chart review was conducted. Changes in medical and functional status were assessed using multiple standardized instruments, as well as a chart review of medical progress. RESULTS: Thirty-one children with AFM treated at our institution in the study time period were identified. Of these, seventeen received inpatient treatment, and fourteen received solely outpatient interventions. Their medical and functional outcomes are described with use of standardized measures when available. CONCLUSIONS: Children with flaccid paralysis due to AFM undergoing structured, comprehensive rehabilitation interventions, even when these are initiated long after paralysis onset, can make significant neurologic and functional gains. Recovery of function and prevention of comorbidities are the main therapeutic targets for interventions in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-253
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of pediatric rehabilitation medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2019


  • Acute flaccid myelitis
  • paralysis
  • rehabilitation functional outcomes
  • spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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