In the past, children with rapidly progressive neuromuscular scoliosis often underwent growth-stopping spinal fusion. Today, there are more options.
Payton Mueller's parents knew something was amiss by the time he was 9 months old.
Timing, experience, know-how needed for successful outcome
Scoliosis and other spinal curvatures are common in neuromuscular diseases and often require surgical correction. Fortunately, today's surgeries are safer and more effective than those of earlier decades. (See Scoliosis Surgery: Setting the Record Straight, January 1997.)
Staying ahead of the curve
You hope it won't be necessary, but it often is: surgery to correct scoliosis, a lateral (side-to-side) curvature of the spine. Scoliosis can occur in almost any neuromuscular condition in which back muscles, which normally keep the spine straight, weaken, but it's particularly common in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).
Setting the record straight
"I've had a lot of different surgeries for a lot of different problems," says Todd Palkowski of Franklin, Wis. "Not all of them have been successful. But this one works."