Aim: To describe the prevalence of symptomatic cervical spinal stenosis (CSS) in spastic cerebral palsy (CP) and associated characteristics. Method: This cross-sectional study of adults (>18y) with CP (2006–2016) at a single institution compared the patient characteristics (demographics, comorbidities, surgical history, medications, Gross Motor Function Classification System [GMFCS] level, and CP type) of patients with and without CSS. Results: Of 424 patients (mean age 33y 4mo, SD 13y 6mo, range 18–78y; 225 females, 199 males), 32 patients (7.5%) had symptomatic CSS. GMFCS levels in the study cohort were distributed as follows: level I, 25%; level II, 25%; level III, 22%; level IV, 19%; level V, 9%. Twenty-five out of 32 (78.1%) patients had spastic CP, two (6.3%) had dystonic CP, and one (3.1%) had mixed characteristics. Individuals with CSS were older (mean age 54y 6mo, SD 10y 5mo vs mean age 31y 7mo, SD 12y 1mo, p<0.05) and had a higher body mass index (26.1, SD 4.8 vs 23.4, SD 6.2, p<0.05) than those without CSS. Presentations included upper-extremity symptoms (73%), ambulation decline (70%), neck pain (53%), and incontinence (30%). Common stenosis levels were C5–C6 (59%), C4–C5 (56%), and C6–C7 (53%). Interpretation: Symptomatic CSS was identified in 7.5% of this adult cohort during the 2006 to 2016 period. Diagnosis in CP is difficult due to impaired communication and pre-existing gait abnormalities and spasticity. Given the high prevalence of symptomatic CSS in adults, we propose developing screening guidelines. Physicians must maintain a high level of suspicion for CSS if patients present with changes in gait or spasticity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental Neuroscience
- Clinical Neurology