Current concepts in neuromuscular scoliosis

  • Robert F. MurphyEmail author
  • James F. MooneyIII
Pediatric Orthopedics (B Heyworth, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Pediatric Orthopedics


Purpose of Review

Spinal deformity is a common issue in pediatric patients with an underlying neurological diagnosis or syndrome. Management of neuromuscular scoliosis (NMS) is a major part of the orthopedic care of such patients, as the deformity is often progressive, and may affect gait, seating and positioning. In addition, untreated large spinal deformities may be associated with pain and/or cardiopulmonary issues over time.

Recent Findings

Recent changes in medical management of the underlying disease process appears to alter the natural history of certain neuromuscular conditions, and in the case of patients with Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy significantly diminish the incidence of spinal deformity. In the most common diagnosis associated with NMS, cerebral palsy, there is evidence that despite a high complication rate, surgical management of spinal deformity is associated with measurable improvements in validated health-related quality-of-life measures.


Spinal deformity is a common finding in patients with neurological diagnoses. It is important for those involved in the care of these patients to understand the natural history of NMS, as well as the potential risks and benefits to the patient and caregivers, of surgical and non-surgical interventions.


Neuromuscular scoliosis Cerebral palsy Caregiver/patient outcome studies 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Robert F. Murphy and James F. Mooney, III each declare no potential conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedics and Physical MedicineMedical University of South CarolinaCharlestonUSA
  2. 2.Shriner’s Hospital for ChildrenSpringfieldUSA

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