Conditions + Treatments

Spine problems in Children

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Contact the Spinal Program

  • 1-617-355-6021
  • International: +01-617-355-5209
  • Locations

We're fortunate that Boston Children's is large enough that we can sub-specialize. We're able to make real advances in our respective fields by concentrating on our sub-specialties, like spine or hips, rather than every surgeon doing every procedure. This way, we can offer advanced techniques that you won't see in volume at other institutions.

Spinal Program Team, Boston Children's Hospital Orthopedic Center

If your baby or child has been diagnosed with a spinal problem—from a complex congenital (present at birth) condition to a less severe overuse injury—we know that you and your family are under stress. So, at Children’s Hospital Boston, we’ll approach your child’s treatment with sensitivity and support—for your child and your whole family.

If your child’s condition is serious, you can have peace of mind knowing that the team in the Boston Children's Spinal Program has treated a large volume of spinal problems that few pediatric hospitals have seen—and can provide expert diagnosis, treatment and care.

The Boston Children's Hospital approach

Boston Children’s Spinal Program is known for clinical innovation, research and leadership. We offer the most advanced diagnostics and treatments—several of which were pioneered and developed by our own researchers and clinicians.

One of the first comprehensive programs, Boston Children’s Orthopedic Center is the largest and busiest pediatric orthopedic surgery center in the United States, performing more 6,000 surgical procedures each year. Our program is the nation’s preeminent care center for children and young adults with developmental, congenital, neuromuscular and post-traumatic problems of the musculoskeletal system.

Some of our team’s unique accomplishments include our:

   •   development of the Boston Brace, a custom bracing system widely used throughout the United States and
   •   Early adopters of MAGEC (MAGnetic Expansion Control) System, an adjustable growing rod system that uses
       magnetic technology and a remote control to non-invasively lengthen the device. When used in appropriate 
       patients, the device may reduce the number of surgeries children with spinal deformities must undergo
   •   success with the Expansion Thoracostomy and VEPTR(vertical expandable prosthetic titanium rib) procedure:
       In 1998, Children’s was selected as a site for the first extensive VEPTR use outside San Antonio, where it was
       developed. Boston Children’s has the second most extensive VEPTR experience in the nation.
   •   experience with, and emphasis on, treating infantile (early-onset) scoliosis   

Spinal conditions that we treat in infants and children include:

   •    idiopathic scoliosis
   •    neuromuscular scoliosis
   •    congenital scoliosis and other vertebral anomalies
   •    early-onset scoliosis
   •    kyphosis
   •    spina bifida
   •    spinal deformities associated with bone dysplasias, metabolic bone disease and connective tissue disorders
   •    spondylolysis
   •    spondylolisthesis

Each year, our Spinal Program caregivers provide comprehensive evaluation, diagnosis, consultation, treatment and follow-up care for children during more than 6,000 outpatient visits. And every year, our orthopedic surgeons perform more than 300 spine procedures on babies, children, adolescents and young adults.

We offer orthopedic care in lots of places

Boston Children’s physicians provide orthopedic care—including for scoliosis and other spine problems—at locations in Lexington, Peabody, Weymouth and Waltham, as well as at our main campus in Boston. 

If you come from far away, we can help

As an international pediatric orthopedics center, Children’s treats young patients from all over the world. Our International Center assists families residing outside the United States: we facilitate the medical review of patient records; coordinate appointment scheduling; and help families with customs and immigration, transportation, hotel and housing accommodations.

Spine problems: Reviewed by John Emans, MD
© Boston Children’s Hospital, 2010

The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

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