Post-Polio Health, Volume 27, Number 4, Fall 2011
Ask Dr. Maynard
Frederick M. Maynard, MD
Question: Do you know of any polio survivors who are experiencing numbness in their affected areas? I did some physical therapy recently for about six weeks using both sides of my body to improve the strength in my unaffected leg, and noticed that my left arm (the affected side) was becoming numb and then later in the day, my left leg would also become numb (just the top part of my arm and leg).
Carol Vandenakker, MD
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
University of California, Davis, Health System
Presented at PHI’s 9th International Conference: Strategies for Living Well (June 2005)
A. You must start with a good primary care physician.
1. Keys to finding a good doctor:
a. Look for a physician you trust and can communicate with.
Ernest W. Johnson, MD
Returning from 34 months in the southeast Pacific as a GI to my home in Akron, Ohio, I was entitled to four calendar years of a university education funded by the GI bill. I enrolled at The Ohio State University (OSU) and while rooming with a high school friend who was completing his last year of medical school, was given advice-- after joining him on several clinical rotations--to finish the pre-med requirements and use up the educational entitlement in medical school. I did!
New muscle weakness is the hallmark of post-polio syndrome and can significantly impact activities of daily living. Some amount of new muscle weakness is likely to occur in about half of post-polio individuals (Jubelt & Drucker, 1999). Muscle weakness is most likely to occur in muscles previously affected during the acute poliomyelitis followed by a partial or full recovery (Cashman et al., 1987; Dalakas & Illa, 1991).
Modern anesthesia has become extremely safe, but many survivors fear it because of reports of problems during and after anesthesia. Potential problems include a greater sensitivity to the paralyzing drugs (muscle relaxants), possible need for mechanical ventilation after surgery, and pain problems after surgery. All survivors, especially those with a history of respiratory involvement, need to tell their surgeon and anesthesiologist about having had polio (Calmes, 1997).
Selma H. Calmes MD, Retired Anesthesiologist
Many polio patients fear anesthesia. Multiple surgeries in childhood were common for those who had polio and anesthesia care then was not as sophisticated as it is today. Modern anesthesia is much improved since the time of polio epidemics! In this session, an anesthesiologist familiar with modern anesthesia practice and polio will answer recent, common questions asked by post-polio patients. If time, the audience can ask their own questions.