As children with Angelman Syndrome age, progressive side-to-side curvature of the spine (scoliosis) may become apparent occurring in approximately 10% of children, The problem is more common in adulthood with about 40% of adult individuals with Angelman Syndrome requiring braces or surgical correction. Scoliosis should be regularly monitored in all children and adults with the syndrome, particularly during periods of rapid growth (early childhood and adolescence).
The behavior of the curve may be monitored via repeated clinic visits and x-ray examinations at various times during development for worsening or progression of the scoliosis. Should the curve progress, or if it increases, treatment may be appropriate.
Bracing / Casting
Bracing or casting programs may help delay or avoid the need for surgery. Bracing or casting congenital scoliosis (one present from birth) is rarely effective, but bracing or casting a small curve appearing during growth spurts curve may be helpful.
Bracing is prescribed depending on the degree of curvature determined by X-ray. The goal of bracing is to slow the progression of the curve, allowing the child to grow before a surgical procedure is done, as bracing alone rarely permanently corrects scoliosis.
Casting is usually used in cases of congenital scoliosis for children under the age of 3. It has been shown to either correct or to delay the progression of curvature in some cases, especially in young children and those with smaller curvatures..
Manipulation, physical therapy and/or exercise has not been shown to influence spinal curvature.
Patients treated with scoliosis casting.
Surgery is generally recommended if brace or cast treatment fails to keep the scoliosis from progressing, or if the curve pattern shows brace or cast treatments are unlikely to succeed.
The surgeon will stop the progression of a curve without adversely affecting future growth. Various growth-friendly surgeries allow the spine and lungs to grow while controlling spine and lung deformity.
For more information, visit Scoliosis Association UK