Purpose: To study development of bone mineral content (BMC) in infants with myelomeningocele (MMC) who did or did not receive upright supported stepping practice (USSP) and in infants with typical development (TD).
Methods: We tested 36 infants across the ages of 1 to 18 months. Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry was used to collect raw BMC data for the whole body, legs, and arms, which were normalized using anthropometrics.
Results: Whole-body BMC generally increased with age; values for infants with MMC were slightly lower than those for infants with TD. Bone mineral content for legs and arms was lower for infants with MMC than for infants with TD. Between MMC groups, the group receiving USSP showed increases in BMC with age.
Conclusion: Bone mineralization in infants with MMC begins to lag compared with infants with TD across infancy, and daily USSP can improve BMC as early as the first year of life.