Neuromuscular Scoliosis | Symptoms and Diagnosis

What are the symptoms of neuromuscular scoliosis?

You, your child’s doctor or caregiver will most likely notice your child’s spinal curve because of a deteriorating ability to sit or a change in overall body position. The symptoms may include:

  • leaning or uneven seating posture
  • using arms for seating support
  • uneven shoulder heights
  • head is off center from the rest of his body
  • uneven hips or buttocks
  • uneven shoulder blades
  • arms hanging unevenly

How is neuromuscular scoliosis diagnosed?

Doctors will use medical and family histories, physical exams and diagnostic tests to determine the nature, extent and effects of your child’s scoliosis and underlying neuromuscular disease. Your child’s team will evaluate:

  • nutritional status
  • lung and heart function
  • functional level
  • joints and extremities (for contractures)
  • balance and ambulatory (walking) level

X-rays (front and side) are the main diagnostic tools for confirming the presence of scoliosis, as well as the severity of the curve. To evaluate the underlying condition associated with the scoliosis, additional tests can include:

Doctors can often predict the likely progression of your child’s curves by assessing the magnitude of the existing curve(s), as well as his physiologic and skeletal growth levels.