Lincolnshire Post-Polio Library - A Service of The Lincolnshire Post-Polio Network
The late effects of Polio Information for Health Care Providers
Charlotte Leboeuf

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8 COMMON SYMPTOMS OF THE LATE EFFECTS OF POLIO

Many studies have now been conducted into the type and extent of new symptoms commonly experienced by people who have a history of paralytic polio (1-10).

The most commonly noted problems are:

1. GENERAL LACK OF STRENGTH AND ENDURANCE, SUCH AS:

-   lack of strength during activities;
-   unaccustomed inability to cope with daily activities;
-   long-lasting fatigue following physical effort;
-   exhaustion not necessarily related to activity;
-   difficulty in recovering from a period of immobility (injury, sickness, surgery).

2. MUSCULOSKELETAL COMPLAINTS, SUCH AS:

-   increasing muscle weakness;
-   pain in muscles and/or joints;
-   unreliability of previously stable joint(s);
-   changes in gait and increased tendency to fall;
-   muscle twitching (fasculation).

3. INTERMITTENT OR CONSTANT RESPIRATORY INSUFFICIENCY RESULTING IN:

-   breathlessness on effort;
-   spontaneous breathlessness;
-   respiratory infections;
-   sleep apnoea (perhaps causing early morning headaches, mental confusion, irritibility, sleep disturbances).

These symptoms are caused by one or several of the following:

4. SWALLOWING AND SPEECH DIFFICULTIES:

-   intermittent or constant swallowing and/or speech problems.

References: (1-10)
Useful reading: (11-14)

  1. Windebank AJ. Conclusions from Omstead County. Polio Network News 1989;5:3-5.
  2. Codd MB, Mulder DW, Kurland LT et al. Poliomyelitis in Rochester, MN, 1935-1955; Epidemiology and longterm sequelae: a preliminary report. In: Halstead LS, Wiechers DO (eds). Late effects of poliomyelitis. Miami Symposia Foundation, Inc. 1985:1121-34.
  3. Halstead LS, Rossi CD. New problems in old polio patients: Results of a survey of 539 polio survivors. Orthopedics 1985;8:845-50. [PubMed Abstract]
  4. Agre JC, Rodriguez AA, Sperling KB. Symptoms and clinical impressions of patients seen in a postpolio clinic. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 1989;70:367-70. [PubMed Abstract]
  5. Rankmore D, Oake W. Ontario March of Dimes Survey: Late effects of poliomyelitis. Ontario March of Dimes, Provincial Office, 60 Overlea Boulevard, Toronto, Ontario M4H 1B6 (1985).
  6. Cosgrove JL, Alexander MA, Kitts EL et al. Late effects of poliomyelitis. Arch Phys Med Rehab 1987;68:4-7. [PubMed Abstract]
  7. Dalakas MC, Elder G, Hallet M et al. A long-term follow-up of patients with post-poliomyelitis neuromuscular symptoms. N Engl J Med 1986;314:959-63. [PubMed Abstract]
  8. Howard RS, Wiles CM, Spencer GT. The late sequelae of poliomyelitis. QJ Med 1988;66:219-32. [PubMed Abstract]
  9. Westbrook MT. A survey of postpolio sequelae: Manifestations, effects on people's lives and responses to treatment (Unpublished manuscript). Cumberland College of Health Sciences, University of Sydney, PO Box 170, Lidcombe, NSW 2141 (1990).
  10. Alm Andreassen T. Tidigare poliopasienter - hvordan har de det i dag? En rapport om senskader etter poliomyelitt (Norwegian). Norges Handikapforbund, Boks 49, Bryn, N 0611 Oslo 6, Norway.
  11. Coelho CA, Freanto R. Dysphagia in postpolio sequelae: Report of three cases. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 1988;69:634-6. [PubMed Abstract]
  12. Saltzstein RJ, Melvin JL. Abdominal distension as an indication of post-polio ventilatory insufficiency. Clinical note. Am J Phys Med Rahab 1988;85-6. [PubMed Abstract]
  13. Hill R, Robbins AW, Messing R, Arora NS. Sleep apnea syndrome after poliomyelitis. Am Rev Respair Dis 1983;127:129-31 (abstract). [PubMed Abstract]
  14. Cannon S, Arbor A, Ritter FN. Vocal cord paralysis in postpoliomyelitis syndrome. Laryngoscope 1987;97:981-3. [PubMed Abstract]

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Copyright The Lincolnshire Post-Polio Network 1997 - 2010.

This document comprises an index, foreword, introduction and seventeen other sections or subdocuments. Permission for printing copies is granted only on the basis that ALL sections are printed in their entirety and kept together as a single document.

Document preparation: Chris Salter, Original Think-tank, Cornwall, United Kingdom.
Created: 7th July 1997
Last modification: 20th January 2010.
Last information content change: 6th June 2000

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