Neuromuscular Disorders

Reducing Falls in Patients With Neuromuscular Disease

Neuromuscular Patients With Frequent Falls: Change in Fall Frequency (N = 35)

2020

Frequent falls are an important cause of mortality and morbidity in patients with neuromuscular diseases. The Neuromuscular Center regularly assesses fall frequency and works to develop individualized strategies to minimize fall risk. The range of potential interventions includes customized walking aids, physical therapy for gait retraining, home exercise for gait stability, changes in the home environment to reduce fall risk, and treatment of the underlying neuromuscular disorder.

In 2020, 35 patients reported their number of falls during the prior month at the time of at least 2 office visits at least 90 days apart. Of the 35 patients who reported frequent falling (defined as ≥ 4 falls in the prior month) at the time of their initial consultation, 40% (N = 14) improved, 57.1% (N = 20) remained stable, and 2.9% (N = 1) worsened. Clinically meaningful change was defined as a total change of at least 4 falls during the prior month in those with a baseline fall frequency of ≥ 4 per month. Median duration of follow-up was 1056 days (range, 115-2955).