New insights in the prevalence of scoliosis and musculoskeletal asymmetries in adolescents with esophageal atresia

Unn Inger Møinichen*, Audun Mikkelsen, Ragnhild Gunderson, Thomas Johan Kibsgård, Lars Mørkrid, Hanneke IJsselstijn, Ragnhild Emblem

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
40 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Increased risk of scoliosis and musculoskeletal abnormalities in adolescents with esophageal atresia (EA) is reported, but the impact of these abnormalities on physical fitness and motor skills are not known. Methods: Scoliosis was assessed radiographically and shoulder and chest abnormalities by a standardized protocol. Physical fitness was evaluated with Grippit, Six-minute walk test, and International Physical Activity Questionnaire and motor skills by Motor Assessment Battery for Children. Results: Sixty-seven EA adolescents median 16 (13–20) years participated. The prevalence of significant scoliosis (≥ 20º) was 12% (8/67) whereas 22% (15/67) had mild scoliosis (10–19º). Vertebral anomalies occurred in 18/67 (27%), eight of them (44%) had scoliosis. The majority of adolescents (15/23) with scoliosis did not have vertebral anomalies. Musculoskeletal abnormalities were detected in 22–78%. Balance problems occurred three times more frequently than expected (44% vs. 15%, p = 0.004). Submaximal exercise capacity was significantly reduced compared to reference values (p < 0.001). Scoliosis ≥ 20º was related to reduced physical activity (p = 0.008), and musculoskeletal abnormalities to reduced physical activity and impaired motor skills (p = 0.042 and p < 0.038, respectively). Conclusions: Significant scoliosis was diagnosed in 12% of the EA adolescents and related to reduced physical activity. Musculoskeletal abnormalities identified in more than half of the patients, were related to reduced physical activity and impaired motor skills, and exercise capacity was significantly below reference group. EA patients with and without vertebral anomalies need health-promoting guidance to prevent impaired motor skills and consequences of reduced physical activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)412-419
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number3
Early online date20 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research is generated within the European Reference Network for rare Inherited and Congenital Anomalies (ERNICA) - Project ID No 739544 (not financially supported).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s)


Dive into the research topics of 'New insights in the prevalence of scoliosis and musculoskeletal asymmetries in adolescents with esophageal atresia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this