Muscular dystrophy has no age barriers. At Rush, we see more than 500 patients with various forms of this genetic disease. Some are as young as infants; others are middle aged or older.
Our expert team — which includes three neuromuscular physicians, a pediatric neurologist and an orthopedic surgeon — has been taking care of patients with this devastating disease for more than 30 years.
We have helped patients with all the different faces of muscular dystrophy — from the more common dystrophies to the unusual or severe cases. Because of our extensive experience with muscular dystrophy, we are skilled at diagnosing the various types of disease — even in the early stages. We then work with patients and their families to develop a treatment plan that maximizes abilities, improves mobility and eases discomfort. Because physicians at Rush are active in research, our patients have access to the latest therapies. For instance, one of our orthopedic surgeons is a pioneer in surgical treatments for muscular dystrophy, including heel cord release surgery (or Achilles tendon release). When performed on the right patients, this surgery can help prolong the patient's ability to walk. Our pediatric neurologist is involved in clinical treatment trials for Duchenne's muscular dystrophy.
Our patients have access to the most advanced diagnostics and therapies, including:
- The most sophisticated tests for diagnosing muscular dystrophy, including electromyography (EMG).
- The latest medications to treat myopathy, heart problems and other complications.
- A full array of services designed to maximize mobility and functional abilities, including orthotics (braces), and wheelchair assistance.
- Corrective orthopedic surgery for scoliosis and other complications.
- Genetic testing and counseling.
Muscular dystrophy requires the knowledge of an entire team of experts. Our multidisciplinary team includes neuromuscular physicians, a pediatric neurologist, an orthopedic surgeon, an orthotics specialist, a seating specialist, and access to a geneticist, cardiologist, pulmonologist, occupational/physical therapist, nutritionist and social worker.