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Muscle Belly Tenderness, Functional Mobility, and Length of Hospital Stay in the Acute Rehabilitation of Individuals with Guillain Barre Syndrome

Foster, Elizabeth C. MS, PT, NCS1; Mulroy, Sara J. PT, PhD2

Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy: December 2004 - Volume 28 - Issue 4 - p 154–160

Purpose:: Relevant information about recovery and associated complications can aid in the management of individuals with Guillian Barre Syndrome (GBS). This is especially helpful in setting goals using time frames based on appropriate lengths of stay.The primary purpose of this paper is to describe and identify relevant factors that are associated with the recovery of individuals with GBS.

Methods:: The medical charts of 33 individuals with GBS who underwent rehabilitation at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center (RLANRC) were reviewed retrospectively in order to identify factors associated with recovery and length of rehabilitation stay (LOS).

Results:: Factors associated with longer LOS were presence of muscle belly tenderness (MBT), severe lower extremity weakness, and lower FIM mobility subscores upon admission and discharge; axonal damage, ventilator dependence, and need for ankle foot orthoses (AFOs) at discharge approached significance.

Relevance:: This study looks at many variables related to the pathology, impairment, and functional limitations of the client with GBS in an effort to provide the physical therapist with helpful information to guide and support clinical decision‐making regarding expected mobility and rehabilitation LOS.

1Bonner General Hospital Rehabilitation Department, Sandpoint, ID (

2Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, Downey, CA

© 2004 Neurology Section, APTA