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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 44  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 148-158

Development and treatment of spinal deformity in patients with cerebral palsy


Consultant Orthopaedic and Spine Surgeon, Clinical Lead-Scottish National Spine Deformity Center, Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Sciennes Road, Edinburgh, EH9 1LF, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
Athanasios I Tsirikos
Consultant Orthopaedic and Spine Surgeon, Clinical Lead-Scottish National Spine Deformity Center, Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Sciennes Road, Edinburgh, EH9 1LF
United Kingdom
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0019-5413.62052

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Scoliosis is a common deformity in children and adolescents with cerebral palsy. This is usually associated with pelvic obliquity due to extension of the curve to the sacrum. Sagittal plane deformity is less common and often develops along with scoliosis. Spinal deformity in patients with severe neurological handicaps can affect their ability to sit and cause significant back pain or pain due to rib impingement against the elevated side of the pelvis on the concavity of the curvature. Surgical correction followed by spinal arthrodesis is indicated in patients with progressive deformities which interfere with their level of function and quality of life. Spinal deformity correction is a major task in children with multiple medical co-morbidities and can be associated with a high risk of complications including death. A well-coordinated multidisciplinary approach is required in the assessment and treatment of this group of patients with the aim to minimize the complication rate and secure a satisfactory surgical outcome. Good knowledge of the surgical and instrumentation techniques, as well as the principles of management is needed to achieve optimum correction of the deformity and balancing of the spine and pelvis. Spinal fusion has a well-documented positive impact even in children with quadriplegia or total body involvement and is the only surgical procedure which has such a high satisfaction rate among parents and caregivers.


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