Children with cerebral palsy could benefit from scoliosis surgery

Corrective surgery used to treat scoliosis (a curvature of the spine) has been shown to improve the quality of life for children with severe cerebral palsy (CP). That is according to a study published this month.

Appearing in The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, the report found that the scoliosis surgery led to a “significant improvement in health-related quality of life”, the effects of which were maintained for five years following the surgery.

Undertaken by the British Colombia Children’s Hospital in Vancouver, with support from seven other medical centres across North America, the research showed that the improvements that came about as a result of the surgery, for both the patient and their parents/carers, outweighed the risks of complications.

The study involved 69 children with an average age of 13, who were given the surgery between 2008 and 2011. The follow up data, recorded over the subsequent years, was used to make the report’s findings.

This data revealed that 92 per cent of parents or carers described an improvement to their child’s quality of life one year after surgery. This was compared to 46 per cent who reported a complication developing within the first year, but not one that impacted on the positive outcome.

Dr Paul Sponseller, one of the authors of the report, said: “I am pleased to see that the data could provide useful information which helps patients with CP and their parents make good decisions.

“These families place an enormous amount of trust in our recommendations and this helps to give the advice a more solid basis, which they deserve.”

Enviva Paediatric Care provides nurse-managed homecare for babies, children and young people living with cerebral palsy. To find out more about our services, contact us today.