Clinical Patterns of Deformities and Disabilities among Inmates of Leprosy Rehabilitation Home in South India

Authors: Santosh Kumar Sankavi1, Santosh Kumar Kamalakannan2


1 Government Rehabilitation Home, Mallavadi, Tamilnadu Medical Services, India

2 Departmentof Neonatology, SaveethaMedical College and Hospital, Saveetha Nagar, Thandalam,

Kancheepuram, Tamilnadu, India


Background. Leprosy is a chronic disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae. It results in significant deformities and impairments which involve the peripheral nerves and skin. Even though leprosy has been declared as being eliminated as a major public health problem in India on December 2005 there are many people who have significant morbidity due to the disease. This study was done to determine the clinical profile and deformities in all leprosy cases in one of the Government leprosy rehabilitation homes in Tamilnadu.

Aims. The study was made to describe the pattern of deformities among the leprosy affected persons in a Government Rehabilitation home in Sub urban parts of Chennai and to describe the rehabilitation procedures performed in the inmates to improve their Activities of daily life (ADL).

Methods. This was a descriptive cross-sectional study of leprosy cases done at a Government Rehabilitation home.

Results. A number of 130 cases were included in the study. Maximum cases belonged to the age group of >60 years and males were more than females. Among those included in the study 7.7 % had leonine facies and 38.47% had madarosis.73.07 % had trophic ulcer and 53.8% had auto amputation of digits. Claw hand was the most common deformity found in 38.47% followed by ape thumb. Corneal opacity was found in 15.38% of cases. Trophic ulcers are treated by using pressure relieving footwear made of MCR material and teaching them to avoid pressure points by modifying their posture. Claw hand and ape thumb deformity are rehabilitated by using stretching exercises and use of splints or braces.

Conclusions. Though there are significantly lesser new infections due to lepra bacilli those already infected face significant deformities affecting their quality of life. Occupational therapy and a stretch exercises are of extreme importance as they prevent further worsening of the deformity also. Several efforts are being taken by health care authorities to reduce the burden faced by them and improve their quality of life by providing vocational and psychological support.

Key words: Leprosy, Deformities, Clinical profile, Multibacillary, Paucibacillary.



Clinical Patterns of Deformities and Disabilities among Inmates of Leprosy Rehabilitation Home in South India