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Myelomeningocele: a new functional classification

Dias LS, Swaroop VT, de Angeli LRA, Larson JE, Rojas AM, Karakostas T

J Child Orthop .. 2021 Feb 1; 15(1):1-5

Abstract

Purpose: In myelomeningocele, several classifications have been used. The present manuscript proposes a new functional classification to better assess the prognosis and management of these patients.

Methods: The manual muscle test is what defines the actual group in which the patient should be included. Furthermore, this new classification brings information about the bracing and external supports recommended to each functional level. We also recommend that the patient's Functional Mobility Scale should always be mentioned together with their functional level.

Results: The four levels in this classification are MMFC1, MMFC2, MMFC3 and MMFC4. The MMFC1 group includes patients with significant muscle weakness. They need to use high braces crossing the hip joint with a walker to achieve some ambulation. The MMFC2 group includes patients who have functional hip flexors, knee extensors and knee flexors. However, the hip abductors are quite weak. These patients usually need to use a walker - or crutches - and Ankle-Foot Orthosis (AFOs). The MMFC3 group includes patients with functional hip flexors, knee extensors, knee flexors and hip abductors. However, the ankle plantar flexion function is absent. Most of them are able to walk independently, only using AFOs without any external support. The MMFC4 group includes patients who have preserved function in the entire lower limb musculature. These patients don't need any assistive devices to achieve an adequate ambulation pattern.

Conclusions: We hope that this new classification is a system that is simple to understand, serves as a gait prognosis guide and facilitates communication among healthcare professionals.

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