What to Know About Scoliosis and Spinal Muscular Atrophy

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by Wendy Henderson |

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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.

MORE: Why physical activity is important when you have SMA.

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.

MORE: Nine ways a physical therapist can help people with SMA.

SMA News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.