Spinal deformity was present in 58 (19%) of 302 patients born with oesophageal atresia and fistula when examined at review. This was present in 24 (47%) of 51 patients with vertebral anomalies and 34 (14%) of 251 patients with normal vertebrae. Scoliosis was present in 21 patients with vertebral anomalies, torticollis in two, and lordosis in one. Two thirds of the patients with congenital scoliosis have had or are likely to require operation, compared with five patients with non-congenital scoliosis. Scoliosis associated with mixed vertebral anomalies in the lower thoracic spine had the worst prognosis. The medical records of a further 64 patients who had survived operation but who could not be traced were reviewed, and indicated that four had had congenital vertebral anomalies but none had a spinal deformity. We recommend early detection of vertebral anomalies in this group and careful follow up of patients with these abnormalities.
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