Benefits of scoliosis surgery outweigh risks for cerebral palsy patients: 5 key insights


The benefits of scoliosis surgery outweigh the risks for patients with cerebral palsy, according to a study in The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

Here are five things to know.

1. Progressive scoliosis occurs in 64 to 74 percent of severely impaired, nonambulatory CP patients who are classified as functioning at Gross Motor Function Classification System level IV or V.

2. Up to 35 percent of children in levels IV or V will develop progressive scoliosis that cannot be prevented by wearing a brace. For these patients, surgery is considered the standard of care.

3. The study authors used the Caregiver Priorities and Child Health Index of Life with Disabilities to assess the impact of scoliosis surgery one, two and five years postoperatively. CP patients who underwent scoliosis surgery maintained an improved health-related quality of life for at least five years postoperatively.

4. Complication rates were relatively high — 46.4 percent at one year after surgery, 1.4 percent between one and two years, and 4.3 percent between two and five years postoperatively — but had little to no effect on quality of life outcomes.

5. The vast majority of caregivers — 92 percent — reported improved quality of life for their children after surgery.

Learn more about cerebral palsy here.

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