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Care for children and teens with complex cervical spine disorders

The Complex Cervical Spine Program at Boston Children’s Hospital treats infants, children, and young adults with rare and severe cervical spine abnormalities. Established in 1998, the Complex Cervical Spine Program is the first and largest program of its kind in the country.

Many of our patients have rare conditions with no clear-cut protocol for treatment. Our program brings together experts from the Spine Division and Department of Neurosurgery to treat the most challenging cervical spine conditions. This combined expertise enables us to safely address cases of cervical spine instability that would be far riskier for a single surgeon to correct on their own.

We have an established record of success treating cervical spine instability caused by these and other conditions:

Why choose Boston Children’s Complex Cervical Spine Program?

We bring together specialists with extensive experience treating complex cervical spine conditions. Some of our team includes:

  • Neurosurgeons who specialize in treating disorders of the spine and spinal cord
  • Orthopedic surgeons who specialize in correcting the full range of spine deformities
  • Complex care specialists who help manage the many aspects of patient care before and after surgery, and serve as a single point of contact for families
  • Neuroradiologists skilled in diagnosing disorders of the brain, skull, and spine
  • Radiologists who specialize in imaging technologies that diagnose and evaluate diseases and deliver targeted treatments
  • Anesthesiologists trained to minimize pain and anxiety in children undergoing medical procedures
  • Physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists who develop rehabilitation strategies geared toward patients’ function and independence

Every member of our team is dedicated to working together to correct cervical spine deformities so that our patients can lead healthier lives.

Comprehensive care for complex cervical spine disorders

Team-based care for complex cervical spine disorders

In addition to cervical spine disorders, many of our patients have conditions that affect their hearts, lungs, digestive tracts, and other systems. As part of Boston Children’s, we offer access to the hospital’s extensive resources and work closely with each of the specialists involved in our patients’ care.

Best complex cervical spine treatment options for your child

In developing a treatment plan, we’ll meet with you to weigh your child’s possible treatment options along with the risks and benefits. Depending on their medical condition and your preferences, we may pursue medical treatments other than surgery.

Complex spinal surgery and safety

Spinal fusion surgery is an effective way to correct many spine deformities, yet the procedure can be risky for children. Not only are children’s frames small, but many patients with complex spine conditions also have brittle or delicate bones that are difficult to operate on. Over more than 25 years, we’ve demonstrated that combining the expertise of orthopedic surgeon and a neurosurgeon improves the safety and outcomes of complex spinal surgeries.