Scoliosis & Cerebral Palsy

While the majority of scoliosis cases occur without any prominent connection to the sufferer's overall health and lifestyle, there are several medical conditions which can lead to what is commonly known as neuromuscular scoliosis, or myopathic scoliosis. This is caused by abnormalities of the myoneural pathways of the body, and often leads to a more rapid progression of the spinal condition, due to existing weaknesses.

One of the most commonly-associated conditions which can lead to myopathic scoliosis, is cerebral palsy: a neurological disorder which causes muscle weakness, uncontrolled body movements, and poor co-ordination, among other issues. Due to the neurological impact of cerebral palsy on an individual's spinal muscles, the chances of developing myopathic scoliosis are increased by around 20% in these cases. Depending on the severity of the cerebral palsy, the chances of developing scoliosis can increase further still, with the rate increasing to almost 100% in bedridden children.

The type of scoliosis caused by cerebral palsy differs from the more common idiopathic form in various ways, including:

  • The rate of progression  - As previously mentioned, the neurological impact of cerebral palsy can cause the severity of the spinal curve to progress far more rapidly, even once the patient has reached skeletal maturity.

  • The age of development - Patients with cerebral palsy will often develop scoliosis at a younger age.

  • Treatment - While bracing is commonly used to treat scoliosis, for both correction and prevention of progression, this is often deemed to be less effective in patients with cerebral palsy.

 

How is Scoliosis Treated in Patients With Cerebral Palsy?

As mentioned above, bracing is often deemed to be ineffectual in scoliosis sufferers with neurological disorders, which means that this treatment approach is usually ruled out straight away. Due to the progression of the curve, spinal surgery is often recommended as the primary form of treatment, although the goal is to delay this until the patient reaches an older age.

Due to the additional complications posed by cerebral palsy, however, the planning and execution of this surgical procedure is often made far more difficult, due to the number of additional factors which must be taken into consideration before attempting surgery.

 

Can Scoliosis SOS Help?

While each individual case is completely unique, we aim to provide the best treatment possible to each of our patients, and have worked with countless individuals suffering from additional medical conditions in the past. When it comes to all forms of scoliosis, the prevention of progression is key, and is particularly important in those who show signs of scoliosis from a very young age. Over the years, we have treated patients from ages as young as 4, in order to provide these children with the ability to manage their condition and prevent deterioration at an early stage. For those who have already undergone spinal fusion due to the severity of their condition, we have also provided treatment to aid recovery and mobility, while reducing the levels of pain which are often experienced by post-op candidates.

If you would like to find out more about the treatment options offered by Scoliosis SOS, then please feel free to get in touch with us today for more information. You can do so by filling in our contact form here, or by calling us on 0207 488 4428, to discuss your condition or to arrange an appointment.