Dr. Michael Vitale adjusting child’s MAGEC rods to straighten spine

Learning your child has scoliosis or another spinal disorder can leave you with several concerns. Will he need surgery? Will she be able to play sports? How will this affect their future?

At Och Spine at NewYork-Presbyterian, we understand your unease. Our pediatric spine specialists are trained to treat children with scoliosis using both nonsurgical and surgical approaches tailored to each patient's needs.

Read 10 facts parents need to know about scoliosis


National Leadership in Pediatric Spine Care

Why Choose Us

We care for children from throughout New York, across the country, and worldwide*, ranging from those with the most common types of scoliosis to patients with more complex spinal deformities. In some cases, our treatment can enable better breathing and heart function and improve physical function, comfort, and confidence. 

Our surgeons perform more spine procedures in children than in any other hospital in New York. We are primarily known for our expertise in treating early-onset scoliosis and have introduced less invasive approaches for working with these young patients. We are also recognized as a center for helping challenging patients who have had previous surgery that requires additional revision surgical expertise.

Our teams include pediatric orthopedics, neurosurgery, neurology, physical therapy, and bracing experts (orthotists) who understand the intricacies of treating spine problems in children and the need for treatments that take into account a child's future growth, dreams, and goals. We develop lifelong trusted relationships with the children and families we work with. NewYork-Presbyterian has renowned pediatric ICUs with neuro-monitoring capabilities and pediatric critical care experts to provide personalized attention for each child.

*According to the most recent Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System (SPARCS) data from the New York State Department of Health


Customizing Your Child's Care Team

Our Approach to Care

Our experts include the best pediatric spine specialists in New York. Before choosing surgery, they evaluate your child to determine if nonsurgical approaches, such as bracing, casts, or physical therapy, may be effective. If surgery is needed, your team matches you with a pediatric orthopedist or neurosurgeon with the experience to meet your child's needs. Our surgeons operate using advanced monitoring techniques that ensure the surgery is completed safely.

Our pediatric scoliosis teams also include pediatric rehabilitation medicine physicians (physiatrists), nurses and nurse practitioners, physical therapists, nutritionists, respiratory therapists, child life specialists, and others dedicated to supporting your child and family. Since some types of scoliosis in children may cause other health issues, they also have access to all pediatric specialists at NewYork-Presbyterian, such as cardiologists, pulmonologists, and urologists.

We provide transitional care for adolescents approaching adulthood, bridging them with adult spine care providers and teaching them to become advocates for their health. As your child recovers and grows to lead an active, healthy life, we are here for you.


Our Pediatric Spine Specialists

Our Team

Och Spine is backed by world-class pediatric physicians and surgeons from NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital at Columbia University and NewYork-Presbyterian Komansky Children's Hospital at Weill Cornell Medicine.

Our multidisciplinary pediatric spine professionals team is committed to easing your child's experience in the hospital while providing exceptional care to relieve discomfort and improve spine health. Call us to make an appointment for a consultation.

Meet our renowned spine care team

Patient Story

Amazing Patient Stories

My balance, my legs... everything felt new. It was like walking in a new body. And I had room to breathe.

Read John's Story

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Choosing a Pediatric Spine Doctor for Your Child

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Our team of pediatric orthopedic surgeons and pediatric neurosurgeons treat an array of young patients, depending on the diagnosis. Here's how to know which specialist is best to treat your child.

When to see a pediatric orthopedic spine surgeon

Pediatric orthopedic spine surgeons typically treat diseases, disorders, and deformities affecting the spine's bones.

Our pediatric orthopedic spine surgeons care for patients with:

  • Early-onset scoliosis, which occurs before the age of 3 and includes thoracogenic scoliosis, idiopathic infantile scoliosis, and congenital scoliosis
  • Juvenile idiopathic scoliosis, which occurs between the ages of 3 and 9
  • Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS), the most common type, occurs between the age of 10 and young adulthood
  • Neuromuscular scoliosis occurs in some children with neuromuscular diseases such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, or Rett syndrome
  • Kyphosis (hunched back)
  • Marfan syndrome
  • Neurofibromatosis
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Spina bifida (myelomeningocele) a congenital disability that occurs when part of the spinal column does not form properly
  • Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA)
  • Spondylolisthesis, in which a vertebra becomes weakened and shifts or slips out of place

Pediatric Orthopedics


When to see a pediatric spine neurosurgeon

Pediatric neurosurgeons typically treat children with spinal cord disorders, the spine at the base of the skull, spinal tumors, and diseases and conditions affecting the spinal nerves.

Our pediatric neurosurgeons treat spine conditions such as:

  • Congenital spinal cord defects, including spina bifida and spina bifida occulta (when the spine does not form properly), tethered cord (in which the spinal cord becomes pinned in the lower back), and spinal lipoma (a type of fatty tumor)
  • Spinal deformities
  • Spinal trauma (injury)
  • Tumors of the vertebrae, nerve sheath, and spinal cord
  • Spasticity (abnormal muscle tightness)
  • Chiari malformation, a structural abnormality at the back of the brain and skull
  • Neurofibromatosis type 1 and 2
  • Syringomyelia a rare chronic disorder in which a cyst forms in the spinal cord


Pediatric Neurosurgery