Which specialist consultations are beneficial to patients with spinal muscle atrophy (SMA)?

Updated: Nov 05, 2018
  • Author: Ashish S Ranade, MBBS, MS, MRCS; Chief Editor: Jeffrey A Goldstein, MD  more...
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Answer

A preoperative pulmonology consultation for pulmonary function tests (PFTs) is necessary. There is a clear consensus that curve progression correlates with deterioration of pulmonary function. However, there is no clearcut consensus that surgery improves or halts the pulmonary deterioration in SMA. It is evident, though, that in order to avoid pulmonary infections or prolonged postoperative intubations, aggressive preoperative pulmonary care must be offered.

Consultation with physical and occupational therapists should be considered. Physical therapy may be employed for joint contracture prevention or stretching. Occupational therapy may be employed for adaptive equipment for ADLs.

A geneticist may be consulted for DNA evaluation of the patient and parents for counseling purposes.

An orthotics consultation may be necessary for splinting and spine bracing (eg, with a soft, custom-molded thoracolumbosacral orthosis [TLSO]) for young children with flexible curves of 20-40°. [55, 56]


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