We provide the most advanced care for children and adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis. Our bracing program is integrated into the offices with the orthotist available for immediate consultation with the physician at every visit. When surgery is indicated, it is performed using state of the art blood salvage techniques and spinal cord monitoring techniques. Innovative surgery is performed at the Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital Scoliosis and Spine Deformity Center in the department of pediatric orthopedics. Our Center is performing expansion thoracoplasty in infants and children with thoracic insufficiency syndrome. These children have early onset spine and chest wall deformity that threatens lung growth. We perform thoracoscopic surgery in indicated cases thus avoiding long incisions in the chest wall. Our faculty members belong to the professional organizations and the national collaborative groups that monitor the outcomes of surgery. The physicians of the Center for Pediatric and Adolescent Scoliosis and Spine Deformity are leading the field in the application and evaluation of new techniques.
What is scoliosis?
Scoliosis is a musculoskeletal condition that primarily affects children and adolescents, in which there is an abnormal lateral curvature of the spine, causing the spinal column to bend to the left or right. Whereas most people's spines have the appearance of a straight line, when viewed from directly behind the person, the spine of someone with scoliosis more closely resembles the letter S or C, because of the abnormal curvature. The name is derived from the Greek word skoliosis, which means 'crookedness'.
Scoliosis is actually relatively common compared to other musculoskeletal diseases, affecting approximately 3% of the population. The condition has affected children for thousands of years, and was described in even the earliest medical histories.
What Are the Different Types of Scoliosis?
Abnormal curvature of the spine can occur in children in a wide range of ages and through a variety of causes. Therefore, scoliosis has actually been categorized into a number of different types, each with its own clinical characteristics. More importantly, orthopedic spine specialists manage, or treat, each type of scoliosis slightly differently than the others. So, it is important to classify the distinct conditions, and understand which type of scoliosis you have.
Early onset scoliosis encompases a number of rare conditions affecting infants (below the age of 3) and young children (ages 3-9), and includes both idiopathic deformities – meaning the spinal curvature occurs without a known cause, and congenital deformities which are caused by a specific developmental condition.
By far the most common type of scoliosis, it occurs in adolescence between the ages of 10 and young adulthood, and is referred to as 'idiopathic' because without a specific known cause. AIS often manifests at the onset of purberty, or may become aparent or worsen during an adolescent's growth spurt.
This type of scoliosis is caused by the presence of an underlying neurological or muscular disease, such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy. The wide variety of underlying causes for neuromuscular scoliosis, the clinical presentation and severity of this condition is extremely variable and requires highly specialized care.
Innovative Techniques for Treating Scoliosis
Spine surgery is one of the most rapidly evolving fields in pediatric orthopedics. New techniques have revolutionized the post-operative course of patients, curtailing post-operative pain and accelerating a return to normal function. Learn more about some of the innovative diagnostic tools and surgical technology leveraged by our team to provide superior outcomes for pediatric spinal deformity patients.
Innovative Surgical Techniques
- Anterior Vertebral Body Tethering (AVBT)
- Growing Rods
- VEPTR (Vertical Expandable Prosthetic Titanium Rib)
- MAGEC (MAGnetic Expansion Control)
- Spinal Fusion & Instrumentation
Conservative Care Options