At Children’s National, we use advanced treatments to care for children with spinal deformities such as scoliosis. Our goal is to restore the health of your child’s spine using the most effective, least invasive treatments possible. From pioneering surgical spine programs to the latest casting techniques, we deliver the best available care.
Spine Program at Children’s National: Why Choose Us?
When there’s a problem with your child’s spine, we know you may be worried. We’re here to help minimize children’s pain and improve their chance for normal spinal function. Our pediatric spine experts use innovative surgical procedures and personalized rehab programs to treat the full range of spinal deformities.
Highlights of our program include:
- Pioneering spinal fusion program: With our Spinal Fusion Surgical Home, we’re offering a new approach to delivering safe, effective and family-centered surgical care. We seamlessly coordinate care for children undergoing spine-straightening surgeries such as posterior spinal fusion.
- Pediatric expertise: We treat all forms of pediatric spinal deformity, using the latest techniques and devices. Our extended team also includes dedicated physician assistants and advanced practice nurses who specialize in orthopaedics, as well as physical therapists. Meet the team.
- High volume surgical center: While our first approach is always to explore non-surgical options, sometimes surgery is necessary. When it is, your child is in the hands of highly trained surgeons here at Children’s National. Our specialists perform more spine surgeries than any other program in the Washington, DC area. We performed more than 145 surgeries in 2015 alone. This level of experience helps our patients achieve the best possible outcomes.
- Innovative treatments: We use innovative treatments, such as the MAGEC™ Growing Rod, to optimize our patients’ spinal anatomy and functioning. If your child has a severe spinal curve, our Scoliosis Traction Program offers preoperative halo gravity traction that can help gradually straighten your child's spine over time and decrease the size of their spinal curve prior to surgery.
To send forms and other documents, please fax us. Patients should bring with them any medical information concerning their conditions (i.e., medical records, test results or x-rays).
Spine Conditions We Treat
Many of the children we treat have scoliosis, which is an abnormal (sideways) curving of the spine.
Types of scoliosis we treat:
There are many types of scoliosis, including:
- Idiopathic scoliosis, which develops for no known reason
- Neuromuscular scoliosis, which can occur as a complication of conditions affecting the brain, spinal cord and muscular system
- Syndromic scoliosis, which occurs in children with syndromic diseases, such as Marfan syndrome and brittle bone disease (osteogenesis imperfecta)
- Early onset scoliosis, which occurs in children younger than age 10
- Infantile scoliosis, which occurs in children younger than age 3
Other conditions we treat include:
- Congenital spine deformities
- Injuries to spinal bones and ligaments due to trauma
- Abnormal rounding in the upper back (kyphosis)
- Stress fractures in the lower back (spondylolysis)
- Spondylolisthesis, which occurs when one bone (vertebra) slips forward relative to the bone below
- Spinal tumors
We partner with pediatric experts and departments from across Children’s National Hospital to deliver comprehensive care for complex spinal conditions.
Daniel's Story: Seeking International Expertise in Neurofibromatosis Type 1
Daniel's neurofibromatosis diagnosis had an added complication of scoliosis. Learn more about what led his family to travel from Peru to the United States to seek expert treatment at Children's National Hospital.
Pediatric Spine Surgery Research
At Children’s National, our doctors are advancing spinal deform treatment in children with ground breaking research. We are also actively researching other surgical improvements for our spine patients through the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Surgical Innovation.
- Our experts are members of the Scoliosis Research Society. This group of more than 1,000 of the world's leading spine surgeons and researchers is dedicated to improving care for spinal deformities.
- As part of the Growing Spine Study Group, Children’s National is one of 25 hospitals around the globe working to improve care for early onset scoliosis and related deformities.
Other research interests include:
- Testing new spinal implants and improving the way we use existing devices
- Making bone cutting (osteotomy) procedures more effective in young children
- Optimizing clinical outcomes for surgical patients
- Helping children and their families prepare for spine surgeries
At Children’s National, we offer the complete range of treatments for pediatric spinal deformities. Our expert spine doctors use the most effective, least invasive techniques when treating your child. We’re here to help return your child back to a normal, active life.
Posterior Spinal Fusion: Incision Care
Katy Bozek, NP, discusses how to care for your incision after a posterior spinal fusion.
Posterior Spinal Fusion: Safe Mobilization
This video discusses how to safely mobilize your child after their posterior spinal fusion.
Posterior Spinal Fusion: Walking/Maneuvering Stairs
This video discusses how to help your child walk and move around after their posterior spinal fusion.