Spine Center

The Spine Center is nationally recognized for its patient care, education and research capabilities in the field of scoliosis, kyphosis, spondylolisthesis and other spine conditions.

Among our programs is an Early Onset Scoliosis Clinic, which offers a recently U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved surgery using adjustable magnetic growing rods. The first two surgeries in North America were performed at Rady Children’s with excellent outcomes. Learn more.

Scoliosis-Guide-CoverFor comprehensive information on scoliosis, download this guide.

Our team is committed to providing the most advanced treatment options available. Treatments include:

  • Observation – In many cases, a child’s spinal deformity may require only close monitoring during skeletal growth. The Spine Center has many methods to non-invasively monitor and assess spinal deformities, including: routine radiographs, 3-dimensional CT scanning and MRI.
  • Physical Therapy – Rady Children’s Physical Therapy Department works closely with the Spine Center to provide exercise programs and other physical therapy modalities to address pain and muscular imbalance associated with spinal conditions with the goal of maximizing physical function.
  • Bracing – Spinal bracing may be an important component of many spinal conditions, and the latest technology is available. This includes computer- assisted methods of brace design, as well as newer techniques of bracing, which allow greater movement and flexibility of the trunk within the brace.
  • Surgery – The orthopedic surgeons of the Spine Center use the most advanced anterior and posterior surgical methods for the correction of spinal deformities. We are pioneers in minimally invasive methods of scoliosis and kyphosis treatment, an advance that has reduced the pain and recovery time of surgery. One of these procedures for scoliosis is spinal growth tethering surgery, which partially restrains one side of the spine to allow growth on the other side. Patients from across the country come to Rady Children’s for this cutting-edge procedure.
  • Research – The Spine Center is involved in several research trials with the goals of improving treatment methods for scoliosis and other spinal conditions, as well as to determine the etiology of scoliosis.

The physicians of the Spine Center also provide care for children with a variety of neuromuscular conditions, which are frequently associated with spinal deformity, including cerebral palsy, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy and others.

Video: Dr. Peter Newton discusses scoliosis and EOS X-ray technology