Current concepts in the treatment of neuromuscular scoliosis: clinical assessment, treatment options, and surgical outcomes

Bone Jt Open. 2022 Jan;3(1):85-92. doi: 10.1302/2633-1462.31.BJO-2021-0178.R1.


The development of spinal deformity in children with underlying neurodisability can affect their ability to function and impact on their quality of life, as well as compromise provision of nursing care. Patients with neuromuscular spinal deformity are among the most challenging due to the number and complexity of medical comorbidities that increase the risk for severe intraoperative or postoperative complications. A multidisciplinary approach is mandatory at every stage to ensure that all nonoperative measures have been applied, and that the treatment goals have been clearly defined and agreed with the family. This will involve input from multiple specialities, including allied healthcare professionals, such as physiotherapists and wheelchair services. Surgery should be considered when there is significant impact on the patients' quality of life, which is usually due to poor sitting balance, back or costo-pelvic pain, respiratory complications, or problems with self-care and feeding. Meticulous preoperative assessment is required, along with careful consideration of the nature of the deformity and the problems that it is causing. Surgery can achieve good curve correction and results in high levels of satisfaction from the patients and their caregivers. Modern modular posterior instrumentation systems allow an effective deformity correction. However, the risks of surgery remain high, and involvement of the family at all stages of decision-making is required in order to balance the risks and anticipated gains of the procedure, and to select those patients who can mostly benefit from spinal correction.

Keywords: Deformity correction; Myopathic; Neuromuscular; Outcomes; Scoliosis; Spinal deformity; Surgical treatment; clinical outcomes; deformities; healthcare professionals; medical comorbidities; neuromuscular scoliosis; physiotherapists; postoperative complications; respiratory complications; spinal deformities.