Botox may reduce wrinkles, but it may also help people walk - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

1/26/10

Botox may reduce wrinkles, but it may also help people walk

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By Kristin Beerman | email

Edited by Jon Bush | email 

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – You've heard of Botox to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, some doctors are using it on the feet now, to help patients get up and walk. These are patients with damage to the brain or spinal cord, either from an injury or stroke, or multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy. Since spastic muscles can cause the feet to contract in a way that makes it difficult or impossible to walk, Botox may instead relax those muscles. 

"So that's when the Botox will come into play to relax a contracture, so that we can either brace the foot or provide casting to provide stability and flexibility within that foot," said Dr. Tyson Green, a podiatrist.

"It takes about two or three days from the initial injection into the spastic muscle to start to see results and about two weeks after the injections, we see a peak effect. That can last about three months before slowly wearing off," said Craig Morton, M.D., who specializes in the field of physical and rehab medicine.

Dr. Morton says by paralyzing one muscle or a muscle group, they've seen Botox help young children with cerebral palsy, all the way up to elderly patients crippled with muscle spasms.  It's not cheap and has to be repeated three or four times a year, but they say most insurance plans will cover Botox in this case, because it's not being used for cosmetic reasons, but as vital rehab treatment to allow some patients to walk.

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