Neuromuscular Scoliosis in Children

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If your child has been diagnosed with neuromuscular scoliosis, we know that you and your family are under stress, and are already dealing with the underlying neuromuscular condition that’s associated with his scoliosis. So, at Boston Children’s Hospital, we’ll approach your child’s treatment with sensitivity and support—for your child and your whole family. And it will be our constant goal to maximize your child’s function, strength and quality of life.

You can have peace of mind knowing that the team in the Boston Children’s Spinal Program has treated many children with spinal problems—some of which are so rare that few pediatric doctors have ever come across them—and we can offer you expert diagnosis, treatment and care.

Congenital scoliosis treatment at Boston Children's HospitalWhat is the spine?

Made up of many individual bones called vertebrae, the normal spine is joined together by muscles and ligaments. Flat, soft discs separate and cushion each vertebra from the next. Because the vertebrae are separate, the spine is flexible and can bend. Together the vertebrae, discs, muscles and ligaments make up the spine or vertebral column.

Various regions of the spine are named differently: The cervical spine refers to the neck, the thoracic spine to the chest, and the lumbar and sacral spines to the lower back.

What is scoliosis?

Although the spine has natural curves from front to back, it shouldn’t curve sideways very much. A side-to-side curve is called scoliosis, and may take the shape of an abnormal “S” (double curve) or a long “C” (single curve). The scoliotic spine is also rotated or twisted, pulling the ribs along with it to form a multi-dimensional curve. In serious cases, lung and heart function can be affected, as well as other organ systems.

What is neuromuscular scoliosis?

Neuromuscular scoliosis is the form that’s associated with your child’s underlying nerve and/or muscular condition, which may be:

•   cerebral palsy
•   spina bifida
•   muscular dystrophy
•   paralysis from spinal cord injury
•   myopathy
•   poliomyelitis
•   spinal cord tumors
•   Spinal Muscular Atrophy SMA

These types of neuromuscular conditions cause muscles to become weak, spastic or paralyzed—and unable to support the spine, resulting in spinal curvatures.

Boston Children’s Hospital approach to neuromuscular scoliosis

Boston Children’s Spinal Program is known for clinical innovation, research and leadership. We’ll provide your child with the most advanced diagnostics and treatments—several of which were developed by our own researchers and clinicians.

As one of the first comprehensive programs, Boston Children’s Orthopedic Center is the largest and most experienced pediatric orthopedic surgery center in the United States, performing more than 6,000 surgical procedures each year. Our program—ranked by U.S.News & World Report—is the nation’s preeminent care center for children and young adults with neuromuscular, developmental, congenital and post-traumatic problems of the musculoskeletal system.

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944

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