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Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Post-Polio Clinic

The UC Davis Post-Polio Clinic is one of four specialty clinics in California that provide medical services for problems related to the late effects of poliomyelitis.  The clinic provides evaluation and treatment of problems secondary to paralytic polio, diagnosis of post-polio syndrome, assessment of musculoskeletal problems and functional status and recommendations for prevention of post-polio syndrome.  Physicians throughout Northern California refer patient to the Clinic.  Patient may also self-refer.

Post-Polio syndrome is a neurological condition that affects the survivors of polio decades after the acute illness of poliomyelitis. The major symptoms are pain, fatigue and weakness. New weakness is considered the hallmark of post-polio syndrome. Less commonly, survivors may have new sleep, breathing, or swallowing problems and some survivors may also experience muscle atrophy or muscle wasting. Not all polio survivors develop post-polio syndrome, but many experience medical problems related to the secondary effects of residual paralysis, muscle imbalance and bone and joint deformity.  The clinic provides evaluation and treatment plans for all these conditions.

The clinic is based on a triage model under supervision of a faculty physician with extensive experience treating polio survivors. Multidisciplinary assessments are available as needed from physical therapy, occupational therapy, othotics, psychology and social work.  Specialty consultants in pulmonary medicine, orthopaedic surgery, and neurology are readily available within the health system. 

 During a patient’s first clinic visit, a complete medical history is reviewed and a thorough neuromuscular and musculoskeletal examination is performed.  Further diagnostic testing or subspecialty consultations may be requested to determine accurate diagnoses.  Based on the presenting diagnoses, recommendations and management are discussed with the polio survivor and a treatment plan is outlined.  As many patients travel a significant distance to attend the clinic, additional testing and treatment may be arranged in the patient’s home community.  Follow up visits are scheduled as needed.    

Contact and referral information

Health care professionals who wish to refer a patient to the UC Davis Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinic should call (800) 4-UCDAVIS or (800) 482-3284. Patients who would like more information about the clinic should call (916) 734-7041.