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Scoliosis: Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

Neuromuscular scoliosis is one of three main types of scoliosis that cause an irregular curvature of the spine. It is the second most common form of scoliosis and is associated with disorders of the nerve or muscular systems such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida and spinal cord injury.

These types of neuromuscular conditions cause muscles to become weak, spastic, or paralyzed. Without full support from the muscles of the back, the spine can develop an abnormal curve as it grows.


The most common symptom of scoliosis is an abnormal curve of the spine. Often this is a mild change and may be first noticed by a friend or family member or physician doing routine screening of children for school or sports. The change in the curve of the spine typically occurs very slowly so it is easy to miss until it becomes a more severe physical deformity. It can also be found on a routine school screening examination for scoliosis. Those affected may notice that their clothes do not fit as they did previously, they may notice an uneven waist, or that pant legs are longer on one side than the other.


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Non-surgical treatments

Non-surgical treatments such as bracing, wheelchair modification, physical therapy, and environmental adaptation can help your child adapt to everyday environments and improve their mobility. Bracing can prevent your child’s spinal curvature from getting worse during periods of growth, but bracing will not correct the curve. Depends on curves below treatment options

1. Observation(curves less than 20 degree)

2. Braces (between 25 degree & 45 degree)

3. Surgery(greater than 45 degree)

Spinal fusion surgery

Stabilizing the spine with spinal fusion surgery is the most common treatment for neuromuscular scoliosis. Using metal rods, hooks, screws, and wires, known as instrumentation, the procedure straightens the spine and solidifies the bone so it will no longer curve abnormally. For 6 to 12 months after surgery, the spine fuses in much the same way that a broken bone heals. The child will need to wear a brace during this time. The instrumentation typically remains in the back without causing any problems.


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