Symptoms and clinical impressions of patients seen in a postpolio clinic

James C. Agre, Arthur A. Rodriquez, Keith B. Sperling

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106 Scopus citations


A retrospective study was performed to identify symptoms and clinical findings in postpolio patients seen in a postpolio clinic. Charts of 79 consecutive patients (28 men and 51 women) with histories and examinations compatible with the diagnosis of poliomyelitis were reviewed. The average current age of our patients was 47.3±10.4 years; the average age at onset of acute polio was 10.4±9.4 years; and the average number of years since function was first noticed to decline was 7.8±6.4 years. The most common symptoms acknowledged were progressive weakness (87%), muscle pain (86%), fatigue (86%), decreased activity level (78%), joint pain (77%), and back pain (70%). The clinical impression in most of these patients was arthritis/arthralgia (71% of the patients) or muscle overuse or myofascial pain (71%). Eleven (14%) had evidence of nerve compression, although 39% complained of sensory loss. Five patients had respiratory problems that required evaluation. Recommendations proved helpful for 78% of those seen at follow-up. These recommendations included pacing, energy conservation (planning, use of wheelchair or motorized scooter), gentle stretching or strengthening exercise, use of orthotic devices, weight loss or nutritional counseling, gentle aerobic exercise, use of a cane, and use of adaptive equipment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-370
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1989


  • Arthritis
  • Fatigue
  • Pain
  • Poliomyelitis


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