Neuromuscular Scoliosis & Spinal Deformities
What Is Neuromuscular Scoliosis?
Neuromuscular scoliosis accounts for approximately 10% of all scoliosis cases. This makes neuromuscular scoliosis the second most common form of pediatric scoliosis, right after idiopathic scoliosis. However, whereas the cause of idiopathic scoliosis is fairly unidentified, the cause of neuromuscular scoliosis is distinct.
The spinal column is our main supportive pillar. To maintain this pillar, the spine requires a certain amount of support from surrounding muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nerves. When something goes awry with this surrounding support, the spine often suffers.
In the case of neuromuscular scoliosis, diseases of the neurological and muscular systems can affect the healthy development of the spine. With uneven muscular and nerve development, the spine can also mature unevenly, leading to a scoliotic curve.
Probably one of the most commonly known neuromuscular diseases is cerebral palsy. In actuality, there are many more. Spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, myopathy, spinal cord tumors, spinal cord injuries, and atrophy of spinal muscles are just some of these neuromuscular conditions that can lead to scoliosis. These diseases impinge upon the normal development of the brain, nerves, and muscles, which can affect the development of the spinal column.
Neuromuscular scoliosis is less common than idiopathic scoliosis, yet it is no less serious. In fact, scoliosis due to neuromuscular causes can progress and worsen much faster than idiopathic and other types of scoliosis. For this reason, it is important to keep an eye out for the warning signs. If you suspect that your child may have neuromuscular scoliosis, seek help as soon as symptoms become apparent.
How Do I Know If I Have The Symptoms of Neuromuscular Scoliosis?
The symptoms of neuromuscular scoliosis will often be straightforward in identification. Moreover, the pre-established link between scoliosis and neuromuscular diseases makes identifying symptoms of scoliosis more straightforward than with other scoliosis subtypes. If you or someone you know has a neuromuscular disease, look out for the following signs of disease-related scoliosis:
- Spinal Deformities: You may notice abnormal curvature or twisting of the spine from side-to-side or front-to-back.
- Hunching: A hunched over appearance may develop, with a hump appearing at the point of curvature.
- Visible Asymmetries: In addition, visible incongruities in the body may become apparent. The shoulders, hips, and shoulder blades can rest at different heights. One leg can also begin to appear longer than the other.
- Irregular Gait: An uneven gait may emerge due to unevenness in the spine and torso.
- Neurological or Muscular Symptoms: Muscular weakness, tingling, a pins-and-needles sensation, or numbness in the back or limbs may be felt.
- Balance & Coordination Problems: Furthermore, you or your child may experience difficulty with standing, ambulation, balance, and coordination of the torso, neck, or head.
- Back, Neck, or Limb Pain: Pain occurring at any point in the back, neck, or radiating to the legs and arms may coincide.
- Decrease in Independence: Trouble with hygiene and completing activities of daily living can also occur, leading to emotions associated with diminished independence.
If you have been diagnosed with a neuromuscular disease, do not wait to seek help if scoliosis symptoms emerge. As stated before, neuromuscular scoliosis can develop and intensify rapidly. Seek the help of a trusted and knowledgeable physician.
How Dr. Lowenstein Can Help
Neuromuscular scoliosis is a serious condition, which can greatly affect your quality of life and ability to take care of yourself. The complexity of a neuromuscular disease, compounded by neuromuscular scoliosis, can be an immense battle for an individual and their family to confront. A trusting and knowledgeable physician can relieve much of the worry, questions, and uncertainty that can exist.
Dr. Jason Lowenstein and his team of experienced clinicians can help relieve some of the worry by answering your questions and providing the right treatments at the right time. Don’t wait any longer, as neuromuscular scoliosis in particular can progress at exponential rates. Call Dr. Lowenstein’s team today to set up your first scoliosis consultation!