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Neuromuscular scoliosis is a difficult condition to treat. Curve severity, secondary pelvic obliquity and poor respiratory function can make operative treatment and post operative care challenging. The benefits to the child in terms of improved sitting position and trunk posture can be considerable. We present a large consecutive series of patients with neuromuscular scoliosis treated surgically at our institution.

The aim of this work was to study the clinical and radiographic impact of surgery for neuromuscular scoliosis.

Data was gathered from patient records and radiographs for all cases of neuromuscular scoliosis treated surgically between April 2002 and Feb 2005. 52 cases were identified. They fell into 2 surgical groups: single stage posterior correction and two stage anterior and posterior correction. All posterior instrumentation was transpedicular. Complications, length of stay, and change in severity of sagittal and coronal plane deformity were recorded.

Average pre-operative Cobb angle was 85°. There were 16 patients with additional sagittal plane deformity. Average percentage improvement of Cobb angle was 59%. The correction was better in two stage procedures. Pelvic obliquity was improved in those who were obligatory sitters. Fusion rate was 83% for those followed up more than 1 year. ITU stay was longer in single stage procedures. Complication rate was 58%.

We have shown that with appropriate patient selection the correction of neuromuscular scoliosis can achieve good results with high fusion rates. Two stage correction confers correctional advantage on those who have sufficient respiratory reserve to tolerate it.

Correspondence should be addressed to: Sue Woodward, Secreteriat, Britspine, Vale Clinic, Hensol Park, Vale of Glamorgan, CF72 8JY Wales.