THURSDAY, March 10, 2011 (HealthDay News) -- Most children with severe cerebral palsy have asymmetric pelvic bones that surgeons should adjust for when they perform surgeries of the pelvis, spine and surrounding structures, say researchers.
Previous studies have found that cerebral palsy patients have asymmetry above the pelvis and misalignment of the hips, but this is the first study to find misalignment between the two sides of the pelvic bone itself, said the team at Johns Hopkins Children's Center.
They conducted 3-D CT scans on 27 children with severe cerebral palsy and found that all of them had a greater than 10 degree misalignment of the pelvic bones.
The study appears online March 10 in the Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics .
Most children with severe cerebral palsy have significant spinal curvatures (scoliosis) that require surgery. Since the spine and pelvis are connected, doctors must take into account the possibility of a misaligned pelvis when undertaking any surgical procedures to correct scoliosis, the researchers said.
The degree of pelvic asymmetry should dictate the size, type and placement of surgical screws and rods used to stabilize the spine and pelvis.
"Surgeons preparing to operate on children with cerebral palsy should look out for pelvic asymmetry and tweak their surgical technique accordingly to achieve better outcomes and more lasting benefits," study senior investigator Dr. Paul Sponseller, chief of pediatric orthopedics, said in a Hopkins news release.
The March of Dimes has more about cerebral palsy.