What are the possible complications of spinal muscle atrophy (SMA)?

Updated: Aug 11, 2020
  • Author: Ashish S Ranade, MBBS, MS, MRCS; Chief Editor: Jeffrey A Goldstein, MD  more...
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The most common medical complications associated with SMA are recurrent respiratory system infections.

One of the drawbacks to posterior spinal fusion in patients with SMA is the patients' decreased ability to perform ADLs. The now rigid and straight spine creates several difficulties. Independent feeding and hygiene are impaired, in that the patient can no longer bring the hands to the face because of the proximal upper-extremity weakness. This possibility must be discussed with the family and patient before surgery.

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