The complications of progressive muscle weakness include:
Nov. 27, 2014
- Inability to walk. Some people with muscular dystrophy eventually need to use a wheelchair.
- Shortening of muscles or tendons around joints (contractures). Contractures can further limit mobility.
- Breathing problems. Progressive weakness can affect the muscles associated with breathing. People with muscular dystrophy may eventually need to use a breathing assistance device (ventilator), initially at night but possibly also in the day.
- Curved spine (scoliosis). Weakened muscles may be unable to hold the spine straight.
- Heart problems. Muscular dystrophy can reduce the efficiency of the heart muscle.
- Swallowing problems. If the muscles involved with swallowing are affected, nutritional problems and aspiration pneumonia may develop. Feeding tubes may be an option.
- Darras BT. Clinical features and diagnosis of Duchenne and Beck muscular dystrophy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 24, 2014.
- NINDS muscular dystrophy information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/md/md.htm. Accessed Oct. 23, 2014.
- Mercuri E, et al. Muscular dystrophies. The Lancet. 2013;381:845.
- Benditt JO, et al. Pulmonary issues in patients with chronic neuromuscular disease. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 2013;187:1046.
- Darras BT, et al. Myotonic dystrophy: Etiology, clinical features, and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 24, 2014.
- Darras BT. Treatment of Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 23, 2014.
- AskMayoExpert. What physical and occupational therapy interventions are available for muscular dystrophy (MD)? Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2013.
- AskMayoExpert. Can braces or adaptive equipment help with muscular dystrophy? Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2013.
- Darras BT. Patient information: Overview of muscular dystrophies (beyond the basics). http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 23, 2014.
- Selcen D (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Nov. 3, 2014.
- Abresch RT, et al. Exercise in neuromuscular diseases. Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Clinics of North America. 2012;23:653.