Rehabilitation for postpolio sequelae.

Author information

Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne, and Melbourne Extended Care and Rehabilitation Centre, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Victoria. fary.khan@mh.org.au



Postpolio sequelae (PPS) are new, late manifestations that occur many years after the initial poliomyelitis infection. Recurrence of symptoms and fear of reactivation of the polio virus is particularly distressing to polio survivors.


This article outlines the diagnosis, pathophysiology, and management of PPS disabilities using a case vignette.


Clinical features of PPS include fatigue, joint and muscle pain, new muscular weakness and bulbar symptoms. Diagnosis can be complicated particularly in nonparalytic cases of poliomyelitis.
Disabilities in PPS may not be obvious to the observer but significantly affect the quality of life of the PPS patient. 
Previous rehabilitation intervention focussed on physical effort and determination to overcome disability at all costs. The treatment in PPS is now modified, and aggressive physical measures that may exacerbate muscle weakness are avoided. 
Most disabilities in PPS can be well managed with rehabilitation interventions that address limitations in patient activities of daily living, mobility and cardiopulmonary fitness.

J Am Acad Nurse Pract. 2001 Dec;13(12):555-9.

Management of a patient with post-polio syndrome.

Author information

United States Navy Nurse Corps, Naval Hospital, Camp Pendleton, CA, USA. tjhalbritt@aol.com



To describe the current understanding of the management of patients with post-polio syndrome 
(PPS) and relate the research to a case study.


Standard neurology textbooks, current review and research articles, and a case study.


More than 15 years following a diagnosis of poliomyelitis, a new onset of weakness, fatigue, joint pain, decreased endurance, muscle atrophy, gait disturbance, respiratory and swallowing problems, cold intolerance, and difficulties with activities of daily living might indicate a neurologic disorder called PPS.


Non-post-polio causes of weakness, fatigue or pain must be excluded before 
making a diagnosis of PPS. Approaches to management vary depending on the symptoms and level of disability.
 Reducing physical and emotional stress, energy conservation, adequate rest, 
modification of work and home environments, joint protection, and the use of orthoses, adaptive equipment, or mobility aids can reduce fatigue and preserve function.
Post Polio Litaff, Association A.C _APPLAC Mexico

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Dr. Bruno




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