Pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a heterogeneous condition, varying in both severity and sequelae. The long-term motor deficits following severe TBI requiring inpatient rehabilitation are better established than those following milder forms of TBI. The authors examined motor performance 2 and 12 months postinjury in children without overt motor impairment using standard measures of upper limb function and the Physical and Neurological Examination for Subtle Signs (PANESS). The PANESS was sensitive to differences between children with TBI and uninjured children as well as to changes in children with TBI over time. These data suggest that subtle motor deficits are present after milder forms of TBI and, particularly those related to balance and gait, may persist even 12 months postinjury.
Keywords: motor; pediatric; rehabilitation; traumatic brain injury.