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In children with cerebral palsy, does spinal fusion surgery for scoliosis improve lung function?
  1. Katherine Lehovsky
  1. West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Watford, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Katherine Lehovsky, West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Watford WD18 0HB, UK; katherine.lehovsky{at}

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While in a paediatric respiratory outpatient clinic, you meet a 12-year-old boy with Gross Motor Function Classification System Level IV cerebral palsy. He has a left-sided scoliosis (80° Cobb angle T11–L4) and is being considered for scoliosis correction surgery. You have been asked to see him for preoperative assessment of respiratory function. The consultant paediatrician comments that the aim of surgery is to improve quality of life; you wonder if there is evidence that it can also improve lung function?

Structured clinical question

In children with cerebral palsy (population), does spinal fusion surgery for scoliosis (intervention) improve lung function (outcome)?


  • Secondary sources: 3 indirectly relevant.1 2

  • The Cochrane Library: (cerebral palsy AND scoliosis AND lung)—1 reference, 0 directly relevant to question.

  • PubMed: (cerebral palsy AND scoliosis) AND (lung OR respiratory)—44 references, 2 directly relevant to question.

  • National Health Service evidence: (cerebral palsy AND scoliosis …

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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