Buruli ulcer

Assessment of functional limitations caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans infection: towards a Buruli Ulcer Functional Limitation Score

Tropical Medicine and International Health

Publication details

Editors: D.E. Ellen, Y. Stienstra, M. A. Teelken, P.U. Dijkstra, W.T.A. van der Graaf and T.S. van der Werf
Number of pages: 6 p.
Publication date: January 2003
Languages: English
WHO reference number:



The purpose of this study of treated Buruli ulcer patients in Ghana was to identify and assess late sequelae of treated Buruli ulcer using a goniometer, and to develop a scoring system for functional limitations. Of 78 patients, 58% (n = 45) had a reduction in the range of motion of one or more joints: 30% (n = 23) had one or more functional limitations of the leg and 21% (n = 16) of the arm; 49% (n = 38) had a functional limitation. Of all patients with affected knees, the predicted average extent of limitation was 63%. In patients with affected ankles, limitation was 78% on average; in those with elbow involvement, this was 76% on average, and in wrists involved, 65%. All of the hands involved were markedly restricted. We propose a simplified and functional scoring system that should be tested for validation in a second patient sample, and, if properly validated and adjusted, can be used in future intervention trials.

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