#1 Ranked Children’s Hospital by U.S. News & World Report
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There are many ways you can help children and their families get the care they need.
How we'll treat your child's spinal problem depends on the complexity and severity of her condition. Whether her spinal condition is congenital-, idiopathic- or neuromuscular-related, the Boston Children's Hospital Spinal Program provides comprehensive treatment—including evaluation, diagnosis, consultation and follow-up care.
Once an abnormal spine curve has been detected, it's important to monitor the curve as the child grows. In many cases, your child's spinal condition may need only close monitoring during skeletal growth. Your physician will determine your child's treatment plan and follow-up based on her x-rays and physical exams.
Bracing can be an important part of treating spinal problems. For example:
• In neuromuscular scoliosis, bracing helps positioning and function.
• In idiopathic scoliosis, bracing can help control or correct curves. The brace holds your child's spine in a straighter
position while she's growing in order to partly correct the curve or prevent it from increasing. A bracing program
may help avoid surgery.
Casting is commonly used for early-onset (infantile) idiopathic scoliosis.
If surgery becomes necessary, our Spinal Program's orthopedic surgeons use the most advanced surgical techniques for correcting spinal problems, such as:
Spinal fusion: the most common surgical procedure for treating spinal problems
Usually, a fusion and instrumentation are combined to correct and solidify the curve.
Dual posterior growing rods (for early-onset scoliosis): for younger, growing children, this technique controls spinal deformity while allowing spinal growth with periodic lengthenings
Expansion thoracostomy/VEPTR™ (titanium rib): this procedure controls chest and spine deformity while permitting growth of both chest and spine
Vertebral stapling: a minimally-invasive surgical alternative to bracing for scoliosis in some circumstances
At Boston Children's, we understand that a hospital visit can be difficult, and sometimes overwhelming. So we offer many amenities to make your child's—and your own—hospital experience as pleasant as possible. Visit The Center for Families for everything you need to know about:
• getting to Boston Children's
• navigating the hospital experience
• resources that are available for your family
In particular, we understand that you may have a lot of questions when your child is diagnosed with a spine problem. How will it affect my child long term? What do we do next? We can help you connect with a number of resources to help you and your family through this difficult time, including:
• patient education: From the office visit to pre-op to the recovery room to physical therapy and recovery, our
nurses and physical therapists will be on hand to walk you through your child's treatment and help answer any
questions you may have—Will my child need surgery? How long will her recovery take? How should we manage
home exercises and therapy? We will help you coordinate and continue the care and support you received while
• parent-to-parent: Want to talk with someone whose child has been treated for a spinal problem? We can often
put you in touch with other families who've been through the same procedure or process that you and your child
are facing, and who will share their experiences.
• faith-based support: If you're in need of spiritual support, we'll connect you with the
Boston Children's chaplaincy. Our program includes nearly a dozen clergy—representing Protestant, Jewish,
Muslim, Catholic and other faith traditions—who will listen to you, pray with you and help you observe your
own faith practices during your hospital experience.
• social work: Our social workers and mental health clinicians have helped many other families in your situation.
We can offer counseling and assistance with issues such as coping with your child's diagnosis, stresses relating to
coping with illness and dealing with financial issues.
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”