1. Anterior poliomyelitis is an infectious disease characterized by inflammation of the gray substance of the spinal cord, and attended by motor paralysis and deformity. It is of wide distribution and often occurs in epidemics.
2. Experiments have shown that the infecting organism enters the body probably through upper respiratory passages.
3. In the Mayo Clinic series the disease occurred during the first three years of life in forty-four per cent. of the patients.
4. The onset is acute, but the residual state of deformity is permanent, and may progress or become accentuated by the growth of the child.
5. Usually the patient does not seek aid until after the deformity has become well established. The average duration of the paralysis in a series of 350 cases was eight and four-tenths years.
6. The paralysis is most marked in the lower extremities. The anterior tibial muscle was the one most commonly paralyzed.
7. Talipes equinus and talipes valgus were the most common deformities.
8. Scoliosis occurred in 31.4 per cent. of the cases.
9. Marked improvement follows proper treatment given early in the disease. The treatment consists of rest, massage, the application of heat, muscle training, and the use of splints and braces.
10. In many cases surgical treatment of the residual deformity is of great benefit. It aids in correcting deformities, stabilizing the limb, and increasing the function of the limb.
(C) 1925 All Rights Reserved.The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc.