As published in Frontier in Pediatrics in a special research issue on: Neurodevelopmental and Behavioral Outcomes Following a
Traumatic Event in Infancy.
Rapid musculoskeletal growth and development characterize the ﬁrst year of human life. Spinal cord injury (SCI), whether neonatal or in infancy, halts typical development. Paresis and paralysis of trunk and limb muscles results in the inability to move, explore, and learn via interactions with the environment. Traditional physical rehabilitation in young children is typically 1 − 2x/week. With paralysis assumed to be permanent, therapists apply prone positioning targeting head control, promote the developmental sequence, and compensate for trunk and limb paralysis by focusing on muscles above the injury recommending equipment (e.g., braces, stander) to achieve functional sitting, standing, and mobility. With spasticity resulting from upper motor neuron lesions, physicians may introduce botulinum toxin (Botox) as an anti-spasticity medication. With SCI and paralysis, the inability to move decreases and alters the sensorimotor experiences of a child essential to development. This is compounded when using braces, standers, and medications, further restricting mobility, and altering the sensorimotor experience.
This article was authored by:
- MacKenzie Goode-Roberts, PT, DPT
- Kathryn Noonan, OTR-L
- Danielle Stout, MS, OTR-L
- Margaret Calvery, PhD
- Kyle Brothers, MD, PhD
- Nicole Williams Doonan, MD
- Andrea L. Behrman, PhD, PT, FAPTA
Read the Complete Published Article in Frontier in Pediatrics.