SPINAL STENOSIS PRESENTING AS “THE POSTPOLIO SYNDROME”: Review of Four Cases

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Abstract

LaBan MM, Sanitate SS, Taylor RS: Spinal stenosis presenting as “the postpolio syndrome”: a review of four cases. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 1993;72:390–394The diagnosis of postpolio syndrome is based primarily on a thorough history supported by both clinical and laboratory examination. Similarly, the presence of an occult spinal stenosis may be suspected initially by a history of progressive lumbar or cervical radicular pain, as well as concomitant extremity weakness and/or myelopathic signs. Appropriate electrodiagnostic examinations, including somatosensory spinal-evoked potentials and electroneuromyography, as well as imaging studies, computer-assisted tomography scan, magnetic resonance imaging and/or myelography are all useful in confirming the clinical diagnosis of either cervical spinal stenosis or lumbar spinal stenosis in patients who also may have had a history of poliomyelitis. Four patients (three men and one woman) previously diagnosed as having postpolio syndrome were referred with predominate complaints of spinal and extremity pain as well as associated motor weakness. It was subsequently recognized that these patients, ranging in age from 45–65 yr, were actually presenting with symptomatic spinal stenosis. It was discovered that two patients had cervical spinal stenosis; the other two had lumbar spinal stenosis.

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