Scoliosis and hip subluxation/dislocation are common and often coexistent problems encountered in patients with cerebral palsy (CP). The underlying mechanism may be related to muscle imbalance. Surgical correction may become necessary in severe symptomatic cases. The effect of surgical correction of one deformity on the other is not well understood.
We retrospectively reviewed a series of 17 patients with total body cerebral palsy with diagnoses of both scoliosis and hip subluxation who had undergone either surgical correction of their scoliosis (9 patients) or a hip reconstruction to correct hip deformity (8 patients). In all patients, the degree of progression of both deformities was measured, radiographically, using the Cobb angle for the spine and the percentage migration index for hip centre of rotation at intervals before and at least 18 months post surgery.
All patients who underwent scoliosis correction had a progressive increase in the percentage of hip migration at a rate greater than that prior to scoliosis surgery. Similarly, patients who underwent a hip reconstruction procedure demonstrated a more rapid increase in their spine Cobb angles post surgery.
There may be a relationship between hip subluxation/dislocation and scoliosis in CP patients. Surgery for either scoliosis or hip dysplasia may in the presence of both conditions lead to a significant and rapid worsening of the other. The possible negative implications on the overall functional outcome of the surgical procedure warrants careful consideration to both hip and the spine before and after surgical correction of either deformity. In selected cases there may be an indication for one procedure to follow soon after the other.
Correspondence should be addressed to: Sue Woodward, Secreteriat, Britspine, Vale Clinic, Hensol Park, Vale of Glamorgan, CF72 8JY Wales.