Ambulatory outcome of children with myelomeningocele: Effect of lower-extremity muscle strength

Craig M McDonald, K. M. Jaffe, V. S. Mosca, D. B. Shurtleff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


The relationship between patterns of strength and mobility was studied in 291 children with myelomeningocele, graded as community ambulators, partial (household) ambulators and non-ambulators. Iliopsoas strength was found to be the best predictor of ambulation, with the quadriceps, anterior tibialis and glutei also contributing significantly. Grade 0 to 3 iliospoas strength was always associated with partial or complete reliance on a wheelchair. No patients with grade 4 to 5 iliopsoas and quadriceps function relied completely on wheelchairs and the majority were community ambulators. Grade 4 to 5 gluteal and anterior tibialis function was associated with community ambulation, without aids or braces. Deterioration in mobility was most common in those with strong iliopsoas/quadriceps and grade 0 to 3 gluteus medius, and was not age-related.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)482-490
Number of pages9
JournalDevelopmental Medicine and Child Neurology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neuroscience(all)


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