Children's Spine Center

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Physician Highlight

Dr. SkaggsDr. David Skaggs
Dr. Skaggs, director of the Children's Spine Center, is an expert in the treatment of children with spinal deformity and orthopaedic trauma. 

Contact the Children's Spine Center.

Read My Story

Danny MoralesRead how Dr. Skaggs gave Danny Morales ribs that allowed his chest to grow. Learn more.


Ashley Pelico"When Life Throws You a Curve." Read how Ashley and her mom are helping others face spinal fusion surgery. Learn more.


Read more testimonials from families.

Children's Spine Center of the Children’s Orthopaedic Center at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is a world-renowned comprehensive pediatric spine center that has provided care for children with spine problems and deformities for more than 20 years. With outstanding leadership, specialists at the center care for one of the largest numbers of patients with pediatric spinal deformities in the nation - treating scoliosis, other deformities and childhood back pain. 

Our surgeons perform approximately 250 spine surgeries per year and follows over 1,000 children and adolescents with spine problems annually. Our goal is to return children and young adults back to normal lives, sports, and activities as soon as possible. We view surgery as the last resort and try to first find non-surgical solutions when possible via a multi-disciplinary approach including physical therapy, core strengthening and orthotics to name a few.

All of our surgeons are well-respected members of the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California (USC) and the internationally-revered Scoliosis Research Society (SRS). 

Children's Spine Center has been pivotal in the innovation of surgical techniques in young children with early-onset scoliosis, infantile scoliosis, and other deformities in the growing spine. The center is also an all-inclusive facility that works with expert orthotists in improving braces and halos for the neck and back. In concert with our orthotics division, our physician-researchers has developed the pinless halo for several neck conditions in children, such as torticollis and rotatory subluxation

The center also works very closely with the outstanding neurosurgeons at Children's Hospital Los Angeles to address the following conditions:

  • nerve diseases or disorders
  • spine compression 
  • spine injury
  • spinal cord problems

Our orthopaedic physicians are international experts in treating all spine problems in children, including:

Our orthopaedic surgeons are highly skilled in complex surgical procedures, including:

  • anterior, posterior and interbody spinal fusion
  • cervical spine surgery
  • growing rods
  • lumbar spine surgery
  • pedicle screw safety
  • pelvic fusion and instrumentation
  • thoracic surgery
  • titanium rib procedure (VEPTR)
  • tumor resection and decompression

Our Team

Our multidisciplinary team includes:

  • child life specialists
  • neurosurgeons
  • nursing staff
  • orthopaedic surgeons
  • pediatric pain services
  • physician assistants
  • physician therapists
  • plastic surgeons
  • pulmonary medicine
  • psychiatrists
  • radiologists
  • spine anesthesia team
  • thoracic surgeons
We have a dedicated spine nursing staff with over 40 years of experience in the care of children with spine issues. Our nurses provide a bilingual pre-operative educational classes for parents and children to equip them with the information about spine surgery.

Spine Research

Our research interests include:

  • Development of minimally-invasive techniques for spine surgery
  • Designs for future spinal implants

Children's Spine Center continues to contribute to research of the spine in children and adolescents and have made numerous contributions to publications in peer-reviewed journals and are often invited to speak at international and national forums.