What is the role of surgery in the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA)?

Updated: May 29, 2019
  • Author: Jeffrey Rosenfeld, MD, PhD, FAAN; Chief Editor: Stephen L Nelson, Jr, MD, PhD, FAACPDM, FAAN, FAAP  more...
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Answer

Surgical revision may provide stable correction of the spine, and early orthopedic intervention may be indicated in patients in whom prolonged survival is anticipated. Hip subluxations and dislocations are common. Nonsurgical treatment is generally preferred unless pain is severe, owing to the high rate of repeated dislocation. [58]

Noninvasive ventilation and percutaneous gastrostomy reportedly improves the quality of life with no effect on survival. These modalities may be most effective in prolonging lifespan in patients with slowly progressive disease, whereas they may provide comfort care in rapidly progressive infantile forms. [59]


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