Conditions and Treatments

Orthopaedic spine surgeons offer many options to meet the needs of children and teens with different spine conditions. Common spine conditions treated include:

  • Back pain 
  • Scoliosis 
    • Congenital scoliosis
    • Early onset scoliosis
    • Adolescent Idiopathic scoliosis
    • Neuromuscular scoliosis
  • Kyphosis
  • Lordosis
  • Spina bifida
  • Spinal fractures
  • Spondylosis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Spondylolysis
  • Thoracic Insufficiency Syndrome


Bracing and Casting: Corrective casting may be used on young children with scoliosis to avoid or delay surgery.

Surgery: If surgery is necessary, orthopaedic spine surgeons use advanced technology to provide minimally invasive techniques when possible. These techniques are used to optimize care for your child.

  • Spine fusion surgery joins or fuses some of the bones of the spine to prevent the curve from getting worse.
  • Your child’s surgeon may use the SpineAssist robot or computed tomography (CT)-based 3-D navigation to help stabilize and correct scoliosis.
  • Children’s is one of a few pediatric hospitals in the U.S. that perform vertical expandable prosthetic titanium rib (VEPTR) surgery. This expands and supports the chest wall for children with severe chest deformities and scoliosis.
  • Minimally invasive vertebral body stapling is available for select patients.
  • Growing rods may be used to temporarily help with curve correction and control progression without fusion.

Spine surgeons at Children’s have developed a spinal fusion pathway that is used to standardize patient care before, during and after surgery, and improve outcomes.

    Our physical therapy team includes certified specialists in the Schroth Method, which is a type of scoliosis-specific exercise. The Schroth Method is designed to increase strength and improve posture with the goal of minimizing the risk of curve progression. For more information about these services, contact Kristen Howell.

We offer complete spine care in one location. To keep children safer, our team uses some of the lowest possible radiation doses in the country. Our equipment is made for children and teens. This helps diagnose conditions and limit radiation exposure by up to 50 percent.

Pain Management

Orthopaedic spine surgeons work with pediatric anesthesiologists who provide patient-specific care to help minimize preoperative anxiety and postoperative pain. They have the expertise and training to appropriately assess and manage young patients before, during and after surgery to provide safe anesthesia and minimize complications.

They develop pain management protocols (rules for care) using patient-controlled anesthesia (sleep medicine) intravenous (I.V.) and oral (by mouth) medicine.


Pediatric-trained therapists work with each patient and their family to regain mobility and learn how to do things safely after discharge.

physical therapist can teach your child how to reduce pain and improve mobility. Your child will also learn ways to keep his spine healthy. An occupational therapist may work with your child on daily activities. This includes teaching him new ways to dress and care for himself after surgery.