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Clinic of Physical Medicine, Rehabilitation and Prosthetics
Clinical Center Niš
Bul. Zorana Đinđića 48
18 000 Niš
Habilitation treatment of hypertonia in newborns and infants
Ljiljana Lazić, Marija Spalević, Dragan Zlatanović, Anita Stanković and Olga Marinković
Department of Physical Medicine, Rehabilitation and Prosthetics, Clinical Center Niš, Serbia
The quality of muscle tone of newborns and infants is an important parameter for the assessment of neurological maturation, i.e. for the detection of neurological abnormalities.
Changes in muscle tone are often perceived in the so-called “risk children”, and could be a sign of a primary disorder of the central nervous system in terms of early brain damage. The change in muscle tone in terms of hypo- and hypertonia in the first months of life is considered a symptomatic risk for disturbances in motor development, and requires inclusion of the rehabilitation treatment, even though the normalization is often possible to occur spontaneously, without any therapy. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of habilitation treatment on reducing hypertonia in newborns and infants. The study includes 42 children of both genders, aged 0-12 months, who are habilitated due to the manifested symptomatic risk for disturbances in motor development, with elevated muscle tone. Muscle tone was measured through the use of "French angles" (tie sign, heel-ear manoeuvre, popliteal angle, leg abduction and dorsiflexion of the foot), both in the beginning and in the end of treatment. The results showed that in 32 children there was complete normalization of elevated tone by the end of the 6th month of age, in seven children by the end of the 10th month of age, while three children kept struggling with persistent hypertonia, but to a lesser degree than in the initial state. To conclude, the best effects of habilitation treatment to reduce the high tone can be expected in the first three months of life through the use of a very early habilitation. The later the start of the treatment, the smaller the odds for normalization, and much more effort needs to be invested in order to normalize the elevated muscle tone. Acta Medica Medianae 2011;50(1):22-25.
Key words: hypertonia, newborn, infant, treatment