Motor coordination in children with congenital strabismus: effects of late surgery,Eur J Paediatr Neurol, 5 (11), 285-291.
BACKGROUND: Strabismus is one of the most common visual disorders in infancy. While there is a great attention on the effects of the timing of surgery as to the development of binocular vision, little is known about the possible influence of congenital strabismus on perceptual-motor and more generally, on neuromotor development. AIMS: Aim of this study was to investigate perceptual-motor and motor coordination abilities of 19 children with essential congenital esotropia who underwent a late surgery (after 4 years), compared to 23 age-matched controls. METHODS: Children were tested using the Movement Assessment Battery for Children (Movement ABC) that were performed both 1-week before surgery (T1) and about 3 months (+/-2 weeks) after surgery (T2). RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: At T1, abnormal or borderline results were found in more than half of the children with strabismus, as opposed to only about 17% of the controls. At T2 none of the children showed abnormal Movement ABC total scores and there was no difference in global scores between the study and the control group. The two groups also did not show any significant difference in individual items of the movement ABC with the exception of those assessing ball skills. Our results suggest that surgical correction of strabismus, even when performed after the 4th year of life, appears to be effective in improving perceptual-motor and motor function.