A narrative review on spinal deformities in people with cerebral palsy: Measurement, norm values, incidence, risk factors and treatment

S Afr Med J. 2020 Jul 29;110(8):767-776. doi: 10.7196/SAMJ.2020.v110i8.14472.


Spinal deformities are common in people with cerebral palsy (CP), and there is a concern of an increase during the adult ageing period. There is especially a worry about the increase of scoliosis, thoracic hyperkyphosis, lumbar hyperlordosis, spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis incidence, though supporting literature is lacking. Therefore, the aim of this narrative review is to provide a scientific overview of how spinal curvatures should be measured, what the norm values are and the incidence in people with CP, as well as a description of the risk factors and the treatment regimens for these spinal abnormalities. This review can be used as a guideline relevant for a range of clinicians, including orthopaedic and neurosurgeons, radiologists, physiotherapists, and biokineticists, as well as academics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Palsy / complications*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Radiography
  • Risk Factors
  • Spinal Diseases / complications*
  • Spinal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Spinal Diseases / therapy
  • Spine / diagnostic imaging