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Loss of Ambulation (ages 10 to 14)
The “tween” and teen years bring a continuous progression of weakness. By about 12 years of age, most boys with Duchenne need to use a power wheelchair on a regular basis. Activities involving the arms, legs, or trunk will require assistance or mechanical support. Not surprisingly, fatigue is quite common.
Because they have weak back muscles and are seated much of the day, they may begin to develop symptoms of scoliosis. The scoliosis, as well as muscle cramps, may result in some physical discomfort at times.
Weakness in the arms can make activities of daily living more difficult. Most young men, however, will retain the use of their fingers through this phase, so they can generally still write or use a computer.
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