Scoliosis

A History of Leadership in Scoliosis Care

Scoliosis (abnormal curvature of the spine) can vary from a slight abnormality to a disfiguring deformity that can affect how a person walks and breathes. The pediatric spine specialists at NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital offer comprehensive care for infants, children, and adolescents with scoliosis and other spinal deformities. Our goal is to provide the very highest quality, safest, and most cutting-edge care. We perform more children's spine surgery than any other center in New York.

When you come to us for care, your child benefits from:

  • Over a Century of Leadership: Russell Hibbs performed the first scoliosis fusion operation at the New York Orthopedic Dispensary and Hospital (the forerunner of Columbia University Medical Center) in July 1914. While much has changed since, we remain a leader in the care of children with scoliosis. There have never been better treatment options for children with scoliosis.
  • A Team Approach: Our pediatric orthopedic spine surgeons collaborate with pediatric specialists throughout the hospital. Every specialty is represented on our team, from pediatric anesthesia and intensive care to pediatric neurology, pulmonology, and cardiology — all available in one medical center.
  • Predicting Your Child's Progression: We use ScoliScore™, a molecular test that helps predict your child's risk of spinal curve progression using a DNA sample from your child's saliva. Within about two weeks, we'll have a report indicating your child's likelihood of having scoliosis that will progress. The scores are grouped into low, moderate, and severe categories. We use the score to customize the type and timing of your child's treatment.
  • Nonoperative Therapies: Whenever possible, we first try to treat scoliosis without surgery. At our Center for Conservative Treatment of Scoliosis, we provide an array of nonoperative options for children, including Schroth physical therapy and innovative Rigo-cheneau bracing. Our bracing program for idiopathic scoliosis is integrated into our doctors' offices, with the orthotist available for immediate consultation with the physician at every visit.
  • Advanced Surgical Treatments: If your child needs surgery, we complete it using state-of-the-art techniques that reduce blood loss and spinal cord monitoring (performed by the world-renowned neurophysiology division at Columbia University). Our surgeons perform expansion thoracoplasty in infants and children with thoracic insufficiency syndrome, who have early onset spine and chest wall deformities that threaten the growth of their lungs. We perform minimally invasive spine surgery using thoracoscopy whenever we can, avoiding long incisions in the wall of the chest.
  • A Commitment to Early-Onset Scoliosis: We have a special program for children ages 8 and under with scoliosis. We offer the only casting program for infantile scoliosis in New York City, the busiest VEPTR and growing rod program in the region, and the first use of MAGEC: magnetically controlled remote-control growing rods, which are changing the care of young children with scoliosis. For older patients with scoliosis, we provide an array of modern treatment options to get them back to full function as quickly as possible.
  • Setting the Pace through Research: Our faculty members belong to the professional organizations and the national collaborative groups that monitor the outcomes of patients who have had scoliosis surgery, including investigations into the effect of chest wall deformities on lung development, the outcomes of various treatments for scoliosis and spine deformities, and the effects of spine deformities on quality of life. We are also collaborating with Columbia University engineers to develop a new brace that can dynamically adjust forces and movements on the spine in three dimensions to control spinal curves in young people with scoliosis.