Disorders of the neuromuscular system affect the body's muscles and nerves. For children, these conditions can impair their ability to move, meet developmental milestones and even breathe.
Because these disorders affect many systems in a child's body, having easy and prompt access to experts from a range of specialties is essential. The multidisciplinary Boys Town Pediatric Muscle and Weakness Clinic is home to highly trained specialists in neuromuscular medicine, neurogenetics, endocrinology, orthopaedics and nutrition. This collaboration ensures the most comprehensive approach to the evaluation, diagnosis, treatment and management of your child's neuromuscular condition.
At Boys Town, our care team is committed to the only goals that matter – improving your child's health, mobility and quality of life.
Causes and Symptoms
Many neuromuscular disorders are genetic or inherited. Some are present at birth while others appear during childhood. Many are progressive, meaning their symptoms worsen over time.
Depending on your child's age and diagnosis, symptoms may vary from the mild to the severe. The most common symptoms include:
- Low Muscle Tone
- Delayed Motor Skills
- Difficulty Walking, Standing or Sitting Up
- Muscle Weakness, Atrophy, Cramps or Pain
- Numbness and Tingling
- Chewing and Swallowing Problems
- Breathing Difficulties
- Vision Problems
Conditions We Treat
Our specialists have extensive experience managing and treating a variety of conditions, including:
- Cerebral Palsy
- Congenital, Metabolic or Inflammatory Myopathies
- Friedreich Ataxia
- Mitochondrial Disorders
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Myasthenia Gravis
- Neuromuscular Scoliosis
- Peripheral Neuropathy
- Spinal Muscular Atrophy
Testing and Treatments
Our talented physicians use cutting-edge diagnostic tools and skillful physical examinations to obtain the most complete and accurate diagnoses. Your child's comprehensive evaluation may include one or more of the following:
- Electrophysiologic Testing, including Electromyographic (EMG) Examinations and Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS)
- Genetic Testing
- Lumbar Puncture
- Muscle and Nerve Biopsy
- Pulmonary Function Test
Boys Town Hospital also offers
on-site diagnostic imaging services with advanced imaging technology that features 90% noise reduction and to 40% lower radiation level. Our spacious and adjustable exam environments are specifically designed to be comfortable for all pediatric patients.
Our whole-child approach to care is designed to achieve the best outcomes for your child. A personalized treatment plan will address all the physical and psychological aspects associated with your child's well-being. Treatment options can include:
- Medications - to relieve or slow symptoms, prevent complications or treat the condition
- Exercise programs - to strengthen muscles
- Occupational and physical therapy to improve coordination and increase independence
- Equipment/braces to provide support or to prevent malformations
Meet our Team
The Boys Town Pediatric Muscle and Weakness Clinic is led by Boys Town Pediatric Neurologist Matias Lopez Chacon, M.D. Dr. Lopez Chacon is fellowship-trained in neuromuscular medicine and collaborates with a team of specialists whose wealth of knowledge, expertise and skill can address all of your child's unique health needs.
Our team takes pride in treating every child like their own – with compassion, understanding and respect.
Helping Paislee Walk Again
She was like any spirited tyke, climbing and shuffling in all directions. But then Paislee slowly lost her ability to walk, climb or even stand on her own. She simply sat and slumped. Her parents turned to Boys Town National Research Hospital for answers, and now Paislee is back to being her fun-loving self! See how it happened here: