Neuromuscular Scoliosis

Neuromuscular scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine which is associated with disorders that affect the nerves and muscles. Some of the health conditions that lead to curving of the spine include:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Spinal bifida
  • Polio 

Possible causes

Neuromuscular scoliosis in children is caused by muscle weakness, poor muscle control or paralysis. This condition gets worse once your child has a growth spurt and makes it harder for the child to sit comfortably. Curving also reduces the lung space, which raises the risks of pneumonia, breathing problems and lung function blockage.

How we identify

Evaluations and diagnostic tests may include:

  • Complete medical history and physical examination by a doctor
  • Bone scans
  • Computed tomography (CT)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • X-ray

Treatment

  • Braces: These help support your child’s torso when he or she is seated. If your child cannot walk because of the neuromuscular disease, then your child will be treated with braces to control the curve as he or she grows. 
  • Wheel chair modification 
  • Spinal fusion surgery: A child with a neuromuscular disease is considered the best candidate for spinal fusion surgery.