Scoliosis is a common complication in children with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Scoliosis is characterized by a curvature of the spine (usually to one side) and is caused by a weakening of the muscles that support the spine as the disease progresses. It is also known as kyphosis.
Scoliosis can be so severe that it impedes breathing and restricts movement, requiring surgical intervention. This is often one of the major health concerns in people with SMA types 2 and 3. Approximately half of all people with SMA will go on to develop spinal curvature of 50 percent or more, particularly those who require walking aids.
In some cases, orthosis or braces can be used to help correct or prevent deformities but they cannot prevent scoliosis or reverse any damage caused by it. They are also used to help the patient sit in an upright position.
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