Esotropia surgery corrects delays in development, says study

Delays in motor development milestones, caused by infantile esotropia, catch up to normal after corrective surgery, according to a study.

Dallas, TX-Delays in motor development milestones, caused by infantile esotropia, catch up to normal after corrective surgery, according to a study conducted by the Retina Foundation of Southwest Texas, Dallas.

Parents with infants in the study had to fill out a questionnaire before and after corrective surgery assessing fine motor skills, such as grasping a toy and handling a bottle (sensorimotor development), as well as large-muscle skills, such as sitting, standing, and walking (gross motor development).

Before surgery infants with esotropia had delays in both milestones, beginning as early as 4 to 5 months old, and were particularly profound in sensorimotor development. Post-surgery, infants had no delays in milestones and had a faster rate of sensorimotor development.

"Doctors continue to disagree over when is the best time to correct strabismus in children, because most of the focus has been on when it can best help their vision," said David G. Hunter, MD, PhD of Children's Hospital, Boston. "This study says that surgery to correct strabismus doesn't just help the eyes-it helps the whole child."