Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
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Monroe Carell Jr.
Children's Hospital
at Vanderbilt
2200 Children's Way
Nashville, TN 37232

(615) 936-1000

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Follow-Up Services


Managing neuromuscular disorders

After diagnosis, the clinic team may recommend some of the following services to help families manage neuromuscular disorders.

Periodic re-evaluations

Follow-up visits are usually scheduled every year. At certain stages in the progression of the disorder, more frequent checkups may be needed.

Physical, occupational and respiratory therapy

A Muscular Dystrophy Association clinic doctor may prescribe physical, occupational, and/or respiratory therapy as part of a treatment program. Therapy may be offered at the MDA clinic, at another facility, or at home.

Physical therapy
MDA will assist with the payment for one consultation annually to evaluate the need for physical therapy and instruct family members and others on how to administer prescribed exercises. Physical therapy cannot stop the disease process or restore affected muscle tissue. It may, however, help keep still-healthy muscles functioning and may delay the onset of contractures.

Occupational therapy
MDA will assist with payment for one consultation annually as prescribed to enable people to make maximum use of their physical capabilities by learning to use of specially designed implements, communication aids, and daily living aids at home and work.

Respiratory therapy
MDA will assist with payment for one consultation annually as prescribed for instructions in using respiratory therapy equipment designed to support or increase vital lung capacity.

Social services

Social services are an important part of the MDA clinic program. They help families find alternative sources of payment for medical services.

Cooperation with personal physician

We can give your child's doctor a summary report after the initial clinic examination and after each re-evaluation. In addition, clinic directors may advise primary care doctors on problems related to specific conditions.

Genetic counseling

Our genetic counseling services are available to families of patients with inherited neuromuscular diseases. The genetic counselor will explain the pattern of inheritance and the risk of passing on the disease. To detect female carriers of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (who are, themselves, clinically unaffected), genetic counseling may include serum enzyme tests for female relatives in the patient's immediate family. Elevated Creatine Kanase (CK) levels are found in approximately two-thirds of known carriers of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Information about genetic testing is also available at the MDA clinic.

Support groups

Support groups give patients and families the chance to meet and talk with others facing similar challenges. The group meetings give participants the chance to exchange vital information in a comfortable setting, making it easier to share complex emotions.

Flu inoculations

Influenza is particularly dangerous for people with muscular dystrophy and other neuromuscular diseases. Flu inoculations are arranged by MDA when medically prescribed. MDA payment for medicines is limited to inoculation against influenza. No other drugs are authorized for payment by MDA.


If family or community resources are not available, MDA can help patients get to appointments at the nearest MDA clinic.

Last Edited: June 30, 2016
Valued Participant of Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network