Complex Cervical Spine Program

The Boston Children’s Hospital Complex Cervical Spine Program is the first and only multidisciplinary pediatric cervical spine clinic in the country. We treat the most complex cervical spine deformities, often in very small children. As an integral part of the nation’s top-ranking Orthopedic Center and departments of Neurology and Neurosurgery, our program provides unparalleled care and specialized surgical expertise.

Learn more about children with complex spine conditions

"In photos and x-rays, you could see ... her neck was getting visibly longer."

Read their stories

Gracey, a patient with Boston Children

Extensive experience treating complex conditions of the cervical spine

Treating complex spine conditions requires a range of surgical skills, particularly when the patient is a small child.

We have treated hundreds of infants, children and teens with complex cervical spine disorders. We have an established record of success treating traumatic injuries, congenital defects of the spine, spinal tumors and vascular malformations, cervical spine instability, cervical kyphosis, torticollis, rotary subluxation, cranial-cervical disorders, and syndromes such as Klippel-Feil syndrome, Down syndrome, neurofibromatosis, and skeletal dysplasias.

Our approach to care has helped many of our patients lead healthier lives with ongoing collaboration between our clinicians and the families we care for.

Extensive experience

Our team brings together specialists experienced in correcting the most complicated cases, including:

  • neurosurgeons skilled in treating disorders of the brain, spine and nervous system
  • orthopedic spine surgeons with expertise in correcting complex spine deformities
  • neuroradiologists skilled in diagnosing disorders of the brain, skull and spine
  • radiologists who specialize in using imaging technologies such as x-rays and ultrasound to assess disease and deliver targeted treatments
  • anesthesiologists trained to minimize pain and anxiety in children undergoing medical procedures

Every member of our team is committed to our collaborative approach to care to ensure the best possible outcome for every child we treat.

Innovations in cervical spine surgery

Through our research and expertise, we have proven that modern instrumentation techniques that have typically only been used in adolescents and adults can also be used in very young children. For instance, in an article published in the Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics, we reviewed the use of C2 translaminar screw fixation in children. Although this technique is often safer than other methods of screw fixation, it is currently underutilized in pediatric patients.