Scoliosis Spine

Scoliosis and Spine Program

(757) 668-6550

CHKD offers a multidisciplinary approach to treating children and adolescents diagnosed with scoliosis and other spinal defects, providing optimal care and outcomes for our patients. We believe in empowering our patients and families to provide the highest quality care.

What is Scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a lateral curvature of the spine greater than 10 degrees and occurs in about 2.5 percent of the general population. It can occur at any age. However the common form of scoliosis is adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS).

Video: The Adams Forward Bend Test

CHKD’s orthopedic surgery practice and neurosurgery practice collaborate on cases involving AIS and other spinal deformities to address the interdependency between the nerves and spinal cord and the vertebrae bones of the spine.

While scoliosis is defined as a curvature of the spine in the coronal plane, the condition is three-dimensional and CHKD’s treatment protocols provide a comprehensive corrective approach.

How is it Corrected?

In cases of moderate severity, bracing is the most common treatment. CHKD surgeons employ several types of braces as well as full-time and night-time bracing. The location of the scoliosis curve as well as the skeletal maturity helps determine the most effective bracing program.

Video: Scoliosis Bracing at CHKD

Physical therapy (see below for more information) is also utilized at CHKD to improve body mechanics and to help with mechanical pain often associated with scoliosis. While exercise programs have not been shown to affect the progression of scoliosis, they remain a part of the overall program in the treatment of scoliosis. Our therapists have special training in exercises designed for patients with idiopathic scoliosis.

When is Surgery Needed?

Patients with thoracic curves greater than 50 degrees and thorocolumbar curves greater than 40 degrees are candidates for surgical correction. Untreated deformities often continue to progress throughout life and can result in significant cosmetic deformity as well as pain or even cardiopulmonary compromise.

Our surgeons use titanium and cobalt chrome implants during surgery to correct deformities. Bone fusion over the levels of the implants provides permanent correction.

Video: Growth Rods Surgery for Scoliosis
Video: Magec Rods at CHKD

Typical recovery time for idiopathic scoliosis corrections includes a five-day hospitalization, one month with limited activity and return to school, and six months of protection from vigorous stress to the spine.

CHKD’s scoliosis program is designed to provide treatment and correction for all levels of AIS and provide personalized treatment plans using the most current techniques.

Article: One Patient's Surgical Road to Recovery

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(757) 668-6550

CHKD's Spine Team

Our spine team surgeons meet each week to discuss the coming surgical spine cases in order to reach best results. But collaboration doesn't begin and end there.

CHKD's experts collaborate pre-operative, post-operative and with post-surgical therapy. And when a patient doesn't need surgery, there is also collaboration with conservative-care bracing.We help to diagnose and treat over a thousand children and teens with spinal problems each year, performing approximately 150 spine surgeries every year. Roughly two-thirds of those surgeries are to correct scoliosis.

Our spine team begins with our office staff and includes a dedicated operating room team, orthopedic surgeons, a neurosurgeon, anesthesiologists, internists, floor nurses, physical therapists and other specialists as needed.We are focused on quality and safety with multiple checklists and protocols to minimize pain, infections, blood loss and other complications, and to maximize outcomes.