Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Multiple Sclerosis Kurtzke disability status scale

Every so often someone will inquire about the scale used by neurologists to determine our level of disability.  The scale is archaic to say the least yet it's the only tool utilized, it really needs updating but here it is as it stands today.
                                                       Multiple Sclerosis Kurtzke disability status scale

Patient name:                                                                            Date:

1     No disability & minimal neurologic sign

2     Minimal disability - slight weakness or stiffness, mild disturbance of gait or mild visual disturbance;

3     Moderate disability - monoparesis (partial or incomplete paralysis affecting one or part of one  
       extremity)   mild hemiparesis (slight paralysis affecting one side of body) moderate ataxia, disturbing  
       sensory loss, prominent urinary or eye symptom, or a combination of lesser dysfunction;

4     Relatively severe disability, but fully ambulatory without aid, self sufficient and able to be up and about   
      12 hours a day, does not prevent the ability to work or carry on normal living activities, excluding sexual  

5    Disability is severe enough to preclude working, maximal motor function involves walking unaided up to 
      500 meters;

6     Needs assistance walking, for example a cane, crutches, or braces;

7     Essentially restricted to a wheelchair but able to wheel oneself and enter and leave the chair without    

8    Essentially restricted to bed or a chair, retains many self care functions and has effective use of arms;

9    Helpless and bedridden;

10   Death due to MS - results from respiratory paralysis, coma of uncertain origin, or following repeated or prolonged epileptic seizures;


Karen said...

Totally archaic!
Number 4 -severe disability, but can continue to work.....hmmmmmm...doesn't even make sense.


MikeH said...

How in the world is it possible for you to respond to a post so quickly???
I received a question about this scale from someone who had just received their diagnosis of primary progressive MS, I came back to this site to delete my post because I didn't like the way it looked and when I saw a response I was shocked!
Have a great day

Jeff said...

Please keep in mind this was first written in 1955, and then revised in 1983. Modern medicine has come a long way in the past generation, but there was nothing - NOTHING - available to doctors prior to this scale.

MikeH said...

Hi Jeff,
I agree with you 100% there was nothing before no measuring stick whatsoever, I simply wish that the measuring stick would be updated to better reflect the weight of the scale. As an example there is little difference between one and two yet between eight and nine there is a mountain range.

Karen said...

My legs don't work that well, but my internet skills are lightening fast Mike! I thought your post looked good.

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