Orient Journal of Medicine

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Epidemiology and Distribution of Polio Induced Deformities in Okigwe South Local Government Area, Imo State, South-East Nigeria

SN Ukibe, CU Ezeji, J Ekezie, CU Okeke, NR Ukibe


Background: Poliomyelitis has remained endemic in Nigeria despite the efforts made by governments to eradicate the disease. The deformities arising from poliomyelitis (polio) make the establishment of rehabilitation centres a public health priority.
Objective: To study the epidemiology, nature and distribution of polio induced deformities at the Prosthesis and Orthotics Rehabilitation Centre in Okigwe, Imo State, South-East Nigeria.
Methodology: Two hundred and fifty case notes of polio deformed patients seen at the centre between 1986 and 1990 were studied. Simple statistical methods like percentages were used for data analysis.
Results: Out of the 250 cases studied, 150 (60%) were males while 100 (40%) were females. The age group most commonly affected by deformities was 6-10 years (35.6%) while the least was 16-20years (11.2%). The joints most affected by polio deformities were the knee (38%), ankle (34%) and hip (28%). The nature of deformities include: fixed flexion at the hip (28%), equinus foot deformity (17.6%), frail foot deformity (16.4%), knee hyperextension (22.8%) and valgus deformity of the knee (15.2%).
Conclusion: The study suggests that poliomyelitis is a major cause of musculoskeletal abnormality in the study area necessitating the use of orthotic devices in patients’ rehabilitation. The public health importance of this finding is discussed.

Keywords: Deformities, endemic, paralysis, rehabilitation.

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