Published online Jul 18, 2016. doi: 10.5312/wjo.v7.i7.406
Peer-review started: February 14, 2016
First decision: March 21, 2016
Revised: May 3, 2016
Accepted: May 31, 2016
Article in press: June 2, 2016
Published online: July 18, 2016
The last two decades have seen continuous advances in prenatal ultrasonography and in utero magnetic resonance imaging. These technologies have increasingly enabled the identification of various spinal pathologies during early stages of gestation. The purpose of this paper is to review the range of fetal spine anomalies and their management, with the goal of improving the clinician’s ability to counsel expectant parents prenatally.
Core tip: Advances in prenatal ultrasonography and in utero magnetic resonance imaging have given clinicians powerful tools to identify spinal pathologies during early stages of gestation. Prenatal counseling requires a “team” of appropriate specialists requiring coordination and cross-communication from multiple surgical and medical disciplines. The orthopedic clinician should critically assess the accuracy of the diagnosis, the likely natural history of the deformity, what treatments may be required, and what the impact of the anomaly will be on the child’s growth and eventual adult function.