Accessibility Tools

What are Neuromuscular Diseases?

Neuromuscular diseases are disorders of the muscles and nerves associated with the nervous system. The nervous system comprises the brain, spinal cord, and nerves that connect the brain and the spinal cord to the rest of your body. Neuromuscular diseases affect normal body function, causing loss of sensation, muscle weakness, pain, improper coordination, and even paralysis. They can also affect any bone or joint in the body. When extended to the bones, these diseases may lead to abnormal bone development such as a missing, fragile, or curved bones.

What are Orthopaedics Complications of Neuromuscular Diseases?

Orthopaedics complications are abnormalities in the development and functioning of the bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments due to neuromuscular diseases. The injured nerves impact the functioning of the related structures, thereby creating challenges with daily activities.

Treatment and management of Orthopaedics complications is especially challenging in children with neuromuscular disorders.

Signs and Symptoms of Orthopaedics Complications of Neuromuscular Diseases in Children

The various Orthopaedics complications of neuromuscular diseases that affect children include:

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is caused by damage to the brain and leads to stiffness and weakness in the muscles, abnormal muscle movement, and poor coordination. In many cases, hearing, vision, speaking, swallowing, and sensation are also affected.

Congenital Myasthenia Gravis

Congenital myasthenic syndrome is caused by a genetic defect and leads to muscle weakness that worsens upon physical exertion. Symptoms appear during early childhood. The facial muscles are affected, disrupting eye movements, chewing, and swallowing. Other symptoms include delayed or improper development, difficulty crawling, walking, and breathing problems.

Muscular Atrophy

Muscular atrophy refers to the degeneration of the muscles due to lack of physical activity. It makes joint and muscle movement difficult, including lifting the arms, bending, or moving the legs.

Scoliosis

Scoliosis is the abnormal curvature of the spine causing a deviation to one side. It can affect either the mid or lower back. Scoliosis causes a physical deformity, making the spine look like the letter “C” or “S” instead of the letter “I”.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a hip disorder in which the acetabulum - the hip socket - doesn't cover the femoral head properly. As a result, the patient suffers from abnormal hip development, which typically includes either partial or complete hip dislocation.

Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease

Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) is a neurological disorder due to a genetic defect. It is characterized by degeneration of the peripheral nervous system (PNS). The PNS transmits signals from the brain to various parts of the body and vice versa. Symptoms include muscle weakness, stiffening of joints, hardening of muscles, and loss of sensation in the hands, feet, legs, and forearms.

What are the Treatment Options for Orthopaedics Complications of Neuromuscular Diseases?

Treatment can involve a conservative approach which may later lead to surgery, depending on the child’s age, health condition, and the severity of the bone defect.

Non-Surgical Treatment

Conservative management may include one or more of the following:

  • Diet modification
  • Medications to treat individual symptoms
  • Vitamin or calcium supplements to strengthen the bones
  • Immobilization with a brace, cast, or splint to help stretch the tissues near the problem area
  • Physical therapy to increase joint mobility and muscle strength
  • Low-intensity exercises such as swimming to build muscle and bone strength
  • Walking aids
  • Occupational therapy to help children manage their symptoms during daily activities

Surgical Treatment

Surgery is recommended for children with severe Orthopaedics complications and those that do not respond well to conservative management. Surgical procedures are usually performed under local or general anesthesia. Care is taken to perform the surgery through minimal incisions. However, sometimes open surgery is necessary.

Surgery may involve any of the following:

  • Bone, tendon, or ligament repair
  • Muscle-lengthening
  • Nerve release to relieve pressure on a compressed nerve
  • Osteotomy, in which a section of the bone is cut and removed
  • Partial/complete joint replacement

university-of-utah

Pediatric Orthopaedics Clinic locations

  • Idaho Falls Community Hospital Pediatric Specialty Center

    2330 Desoto Street
    Idaho Falls, ID 83404

    Tel :

  • Primary Children's Hospital (PCH)

    100 N. Mario Capecchi Drive
    Suite 4550,
    Salt Lake City, UT  84113

    Tel :

  • Lehi Primary Children’s Hospital

    250 N Miller Campus Dr
    Suite 300,
    Lehi, UT 84043

    Tel :

  • Utah Valley Outpatient Center (Provo)

    1157 N. 300 W.
    Suite 302,
    Provo, UT 84604

    Tel :

  • Layton Intermountain Hospital (Layton)

    201 W. Layton Parkway,
    Suite 3B,
    Layton, UT 84041

    Tel :

  • Outreach Clinic - Missoula MT

    2360 Mullan Rd
    Suite C,
    Missoula MT 59808

    Tel :

  • Outreach Clinic - St. George

    1380 E Medical Center Drive,
    Bldg 1; St.
    George UT 84790

    Tel :

  • Outreach Clinic - Moab

    Moab Regional Hosp,
    450 Williams Way,
    Moab UT 84532

    Tel :

  • Outreach Clinic - Blanding

    San Juan Health Dept.,
    735 S 200 W Ste 2,
    Blanding UT 84511

    Tel :

  • Outreach clinic - Vernal

    Tricounty Health Dept.,
    133 S 500 E,
    Vernal UT 84078

    Tel :

  • Outreach Clinic- Idaho Falls, ID

    Pediatric Specialty Clinic,
    Eastern ID Regional Medical Center,
    2330 Desoto St.
    Idaho Falls 83401

    Tel :