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Specialists at the Children’s Spine Center have a world-class reputation for treating complex and common pediatric spine problems. Our experience caring for a large number of children places our spine center first on the West Coast and third in the country for pediatric spinal care.
Your child benefits from our orthopedic surgeons’ experience performing more than 300 spine surgeries every year. We’re among a select few pediatric medical centers who treat this many children for spine problems. We offer advanced surgical procedures with outstanding results.
We’re proud of these marks:
The best treatment for a back problem depends on your child’s unique situation. Our orthopedic doctors tap the expertise of multiple specialists to develop a customized treatment plan. We turn to surgery when nonsurgical solutions can’t get the needed results. Our #1 goal is to treat the problem and get your child on the move again.
We specialize in these and other nonsurgical treatments:
Children with mild spine curvatures may need X-rays every six to 12 months to monitor changes. X-rays help your child’s doctor determine when to start treatment. To protect your child from high levels of radiation exposure, we use a low-dose 3D X-ray imaging system called EOS, that uses up to 95% less radiation than some imaging tests.
Some children with scoliosis or kyphosis (a forward rounding of the spine) wear back braces to keep the curvature from getting worse and straighten the spine. For children who have back surgery or spinal injuries, braces offer support during recovery. For your convenience, we have representatives from brace companies on-site. These experts customize and adjust braces to fit your child’s growing body.
We offer the latest bracing devices, including ones that are still in development in clinical trials. Our team is working to develop a more flexible, comfortable back brace for children. The brace has built-in technology that allows doctors to remotely track usage and progress. Based on this information, your child’s doctor can provide instructions for you to adjust the brace at home.
If your child needs spinal surgery, we’re with you through every step of the process. We offer classes to ensure everyone knows what to expect at the time of surgery and afterwards. Your child recovers in a dedicated spine unit with specialized nurses who have experience helping children with spine problems.
There are many types and ways to perform spine surgeries. We choose the best option based on your child’s specific needs. Surgical options include:
Spinal fusions are the most common treatment for adolescents who have scoliosis or severe kyphosis. Your child’s surgeon uses metal rods, screws and hooks to straighten a spine curvature.
A spinal fusion can also stabilize the spine after a fracture or misaligned vertebra (spondylosis and spondylolisthesis). This procedure may use bone grafts (small pieces of bone donated to a bone bank) instead of metal rods. Your child’s surgeon places these bone segments around the injured vertebrae. The spine heals around the bone grafts into a solid bone.
Children who develop a spine curvature before the age of 10 (early-onset scoliosis) can’t have spinal fusion because their bodies are still growing. For these children, our orthopedic surgeons attach magnetic growing rods to a curved spine. Your child’s doctor uses an external magnetic device to lengthen the rods and grow the spine without multiple invasive surgeries.
We helped pioneer The Tether, a vertebral body tethering system that treats scoliosis without spinal fusion surgery. Your child’s surgeon performs the procedure through small incisions in the ribs. This minimally invasive approach causes less pain and scarring, which helps speed recovery.
During this procedure, surgeons:
As your child grows, continued cord tension helps straighten the spine while preventing the curvature from getting worse.