Spine Conditions We Treat

Your child’s spine deserves care from industry leaders. Our team at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta specializes in all aspects of pediatric spinal disorders, including advanced treatment for scoliosis and spinal deformity in children 0 to 21 years old. Our goal is to return your child to a normal and active life.

You have an important choice to make for your child’s care and where you take them matters. We want to help you feel sure you’ve made the right one. Our orthopaedic team consists of nurses, doctors and orthotists. We evaluate and treat infants through young adults who have spine conditions. Working closely with other Children’s specialists, we provide complete, coordinated diagnostics and care, as well as a wide range of treatment options. Our Orthopedics Program ranks among the best pediatric hospitals in the country—No. 6 on the U.S. News & World Report "Best Children's Hospitals" list for 2019-20.

Common spine conditions treated include:

Spine Care Services We Offer

Your child’s diagnostic and treatment plan will depend on his specific condition. Early evaluation from Children’s, can provide more treatment options for patient families.

Treatment plan options include:

Evaluations

Through early intervention, we can follow patients and provide treatment options.

Evaluations and diagnostic tests may include:

  • Complete medical history and physical examination by a doctor
  • Routine radiographs, such as X-rays
  • MRI
  • CT scan
  • Other procedures, such as ultrasound or bone scans

Our pediatric radiologists follow guidelines and protocols that help reduce your child’s exposure to radiation.

Management and treatments

Children’s offers complete spine care in one location with our multidisciplinary team of pediatric-trained specialists.

Management and treatments may include:

Surgery

If your child does need surgery, our surgeons are highly skilled in delicate spinal surgery. Keep in mind:

  • 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 CT-based, 3-D navigation to help stabilize and correct scoliosis. We are among the leaders in spinal robotics and use the most advanced equipment and implants.
  • Vertical expandable prosthetic titanium rib (VEPTR) surgery for children with severe chest deformities or spinal curves helps expand and support the chest wall. Children’s is one of only a few pediatric hospitals in the U.S. that offers this surgery.
  • Your child may be a candidate for minimally invasive vertebral body stapling.
  • Growing rods may be used to temporarily help with curve correction and control progression without fusion.

Our Unique Approach

Our pediatric Orthopedic Program is among the top-ranking in the nation. We work with other specialists to provide complete, coordinated care for children with spine conditions.

  • We use some of the latest surgical, nonsurgical and imaging techniques. We were the first pediatric facility in the U.S. to use the SpineAssist system, which allows surgeons to pre-plan procedures in 3-D simulations and use a robot arm to guide them to the site. 
  • Our orthotics and prosthetics team uses some of the latest in bracing and casting techniques. We fit more than 600 spinal devices for our patients each year.
  • As part of that commitment, we provide complete follow-up care and help make sure every family has the information and resources they need.
  • Our surgeons are dedicated to training and teaching. For more than 30 years, we have trained two fellows each year to specialize in pediatric orthopaedics and spinal surgery.
  • Surgeons from across the country come to learn robotic surgery from our team.

The Spine Program

U.S. News & World Report ranks us among the top pediatric orthopedic programs in the country. Our program combines the latest proven technology and research with a caring, child-friendly approach, making Children’s a top choice for treatment of orthopedic conditions and injuries.

Our program is led by orthopaedic specialists. Our doctors and surgeons work closely with orthopaedic surgeons in the community to help ensure complete, coordinated care is delivered seamlessly at our hospitals for children with spine conditions. Our Spine Program is led by our Dennis P. Devito, MD, Medical Director. Our spine quality initiatives are led by our Nicholas D. Fletcher, MD, Medical Director. 

Children's Physician Group Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine

Orthopedic surgeons

Orthopaedist

Make an appointment with Children's Physician Group Orthopedics

Spine liaison

We offer a dedicated orthopedic spine liaison who serves as the single point of contact for patients who require spine surgery and their primary care providers. The liaison will help patient families navigate through our Spine Program and will coordinate care for their surgical and post-surgical needs, including communication between referring pediatricians and orthopedic surgeons; providing information about lodging and key contacts for those who live outside of metro Atlanta; and assistance with the hospital intake process. The spine liaison will also develop written treatment plans for referring providers and call patient families to follow up after their child's procedure.

*Some orthopedic surgeons who perform services at Children’s are independent providers and not our employees.

Helpful Resources

Medical professional and school health resources

We offer resources for medical professionals and school health professionals. Visit our school health resources page to download our Scoliosis Screening Instruction Manual.

School health resources 

Medical professional resources

Scoliosis Screening Conference

We present an annual conference on scoliosis for healthcare professionals. It focuses on screening techniques, research and treatment methods.

Learn more about our Scoliosis Screening Conference

Patient family resources

Scoliosis (en Español)

Fast facts about scoliosis (en Español)

Backpack safety: Don't let backpacks get you down (en Español

Patient family support services 

Children's offers a private Facebook group where our scoliosis families can better communicate with each other—and us. These groups have become lively forums for asking questions, sharing tips and celebrating milestones with one another.

Learn more about our private Facebook group 

External resources

Scoliosis Research Society

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