The musculoskeletal complications of cystic fibrosis

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To determine the spectrum of musculoskeletal complications of cystic fibrosis (CF) in a paediatric population in Australia.


Clinical assessment followed by serology and bone scan on patients attending a specialized CF clinic.


Of 125 patients studied, 21 had musculoskeletal complications, 17 attributable to CF. Eleven had joint involvement (six hypertrophic pulmonary osteoarthropathy (HPOA)), one CF arthropathy, two ciprofloxacin induced arthralgia, one joint contracture following long-line placement, one chest infection associated arthralgia), four kyphosis (two also with HPOA) and two thoracic deformity. HPOA was associated with older age, lower average pulmonary function and lower average Shwachman score. Three patients with HPOA died within 12 months of reporting symptoms. Kyphosis was also associated with older age and lower pulmonary function.


Increasing age with deteriorating clinical and pulmonary function were associated with a higher incidence of musculoskeletal involvement. The development of symptomatic HPOA is a marker of poor prognosis.

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