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Neuromuscular Scoliosis


young girl with Neuromuscular Scoliosis

Children and adolescents who have a brain, spinal cord, and muscular system medical condition such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida, and muscular dystrophy may also suffer from neuromuscular scoliosis (NMS).


Not all children with neuromuscular conditions develop NMS, but it is quite common — especially in children who are wheelchair-bound.


Because of their medical conditions, their nerves and muscles aren’t able to support the appropriate balance and alignment of the spine and trunk. Eventually, the entire spine curves into a long “S” or “C” shape. NMS curves also progress more rapidly and may continue to worsen into adulthood.


Symptoms of neuromuscular scoliosis can include:

  • Uneven shoulder heights
  • Leaning or uneven seating posture
  • Uses arms for seating support
  • Head is off-center from the rest of the body
  • Uneven hips or buttocks
  • Uneven shoulder blades
  • Arms hang unevenly


Because children with NMS also have medical issues that need to be addressed, treatment typically involves a multidisciplinary approach. Your treatment team will include physicians and healthcare professionals from different medical specialty areas who will coordinate care to help ensure maximized treatment.


Treatment for NMS will depend on your child’s age and underlying condition, as well as the type and severity of the spinal curve.



In many cases where the cure is severe, surgery is recommended to correct the curvature and stabilize the spine. The goal of surgery is to:

  • Stabilize the spine and stop progression
  • Increase sitting tolerance if the patient is in a wheelchair, or improved walking capability
  • Reduce pain
  • Improve lung functioning




Nonsurgical treatments won’t prevent your child’s curve from worsening, but they may delay the progressing and improve quality of life. These can include:

  • Wheelchair modification to improve posture and function
  • Bracing to provide a more stable sitting position
  • Physical therapy to improve balance and functioning

Contact us today for an appointment!