Congenital spine disorders are abnormalities of the spine that develop in children before birth. Children with congenital spine disorders need specialized care, like that found at NewYork- Presbyterian.
The NewYork-Presbyterian pediatric neurosurgery program, operating across NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital and NewYork-Presbyterian Komansky Children’s Hospital, offers a full range of state-of-the-art therapies for newborns through young adults with congenital spine disorders, as well as advanced perinatal care for women whose babies are at risk for spine problems.
Our patients come to us from across the country and around the world to seek the most advanced, safest, and proven treatments for the most complex congenital spine disorders, and for the revision of previous surgery when prior treatment fails. Our experienced and compassionate pediatric neurosurgery team is dedicated to providing individualized treatment that enables children of all ages to reach their fullest potential and to live their best lives.
NewYork-Presbyterian has the only program in New York City offering fetal intervention to repair myelomeningocele, a form of spina bifida associated with a wide range of complications including early death, paralysis, and bowel and bladder dysfunction. Performing this surgery while the baby is still in the womb has been shown to significantly improve results by decreasing the need for cerebrospinal fluid shunting and improving motor function.
NewYork-Presbyterian has the only program in the city offering fetal intervention to repair myelomeningocele.
About Our Program
The NewYork-Presbyterian pediatric neurosurgery program is the largest regional provider of pediatric neurosurgery services in the tri-state area. Our pediatric neurosurgery team has clinical expertise across the entire spectrum of pediatric brain and spine disorders, including congenital spine conditions such as Chiari malformation, spina bifida, scoliosis, and tethered spinal cord. Our pediatric neurosurgeons are known for success in performing some of the most technically demanding and innovative neurosurgery procedures in children. They partner with experts in multiple other disciplines to form a comprehensive team that addresses patients’ unique needs.
Many congenital spine disorders can be found during pregnancy, allowing you to plan your baby's care before delivery and know what your baby will need after he or she is born. At the Carmen and John Thain Center for Prenatal Pediatrics at NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital and the Fetal Care Center at NewYork-Presbyterian Komansky Children’s Hospital, specialists from maternal-fetal medicine (high-risk pregnancy), pediatric neurology, pediatric neurosurgery, pediatric anesthesiology, neonatology, genetics, and other pediatric medical subspecialties collaborate to provide advanced prenatal diagnosis and fetal therapy for babies at risk for spine problems. If a spine defect is found, we customize a plan of care to maximize the best possible outcomes for you and your baby.
At NewYork-Presbyterian, our pediatric neurosurgeons use minimally invasive surgery whenever possible to ensure the best results and the fastest recovery possible. Across our state-of-the-art facilities, we employ the latest and least invasive devices and techniques, such as the endoscope, robotics, and surgical planning software, for the best possible outcomes.
Because we are part of a world-class medical center, we can centralize care for our patients and connect our patients to providers in more than 100 specialties and subspecialties. When the time comes, we can provide the support patients and their families need to ensure a smooth transition from pediatric to adult care.
What we treat
NewYork-Presbyterian provides comprehensive care for children with congenital spine disorders, including:
- Chiari malformation, a congenital defect in the back of the head where the brain and spinal cord connect.
- Syringomyelia, a condition in which a syrinx (a cyst, or collection of fluid) forms in the spinal cord.
- Spina bifida – including open spina bifida (Myelomeningocele) and closed spina bifida (spina bifida occulta)
- Split cord malformation (Diastematomyelia), a complex type of spinal dysraphism in which the spinal cord splits lengthwise into two distinct cords.
- Spinal cord lipoma (Lipomyelomeningocele), a condition in which an abnormal growth of fat attaches to the spinal cord and its membranes.
- Dermal sinus tract, a channel in the skin that may reach to the spinal cord.
- Tethered spinal cord, a condition that may occur as a result of any spinal dysraphism, or as a result of other conditions (e.g. tumor, infection, or scar tissue formation).
- Scoliosis, Kyphosis, Lordosis, abnormal curvatures of the spine
How We Diagnose Congenital Spine Disorders
Many congenital spine disorders can be found during pregnancy, which enables you to plan your baby's care before delivery and know what your baby will need after they are born. At the Carmen and John Thain Center for Prenatal Pediatrics at NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital and at the Fetal Care Center at NewYork-Presbyterian Komansky Children’s Hospital NewYork-Presbyterian, specialists from maternal-fetal medicine (high-risk pregnancy), pediatric neurology, pediatric neurosurgery, genetics, and other sub-specialties collaborate to provide advanced prenatal diagnosis and fetal therapy for babies at risk for spine problems. If a spine defect is found, we customize a plan of care to maximize the best possible outcomes for you and your baby.
Infant and Childhood Diagnosis
A physician will perform a thorough physical examination and take a detailed medical and family history about the history of cancer, infection, spine surgery; or spinal cord injury.
The following imaging tests of the spine may be used to confirm the diagnosis:
- CT scan
Call for an Appointment
Additional offices are located in Queens, Brooklyn, and Westchester.