Spine Center

Mia Schloegel after scoliosis surgery

“Once we realized Mia’s curve would require surgery, my husband and I spent countless hours researching scoliosis and reached out to orthopedic surgeons across the country. We were told by multiple sources that Dr. Peter Newton was ‘the best pediatric spine surgeon in the country and the world.’ Wow! Pretty impressive statement. We flew to San Diego three months later to meet Dr. Newton and his team, and not only were my husband and I impressed with Dr Newton, but Mia was comfortable and had complete confidence in Dr. Newton. He is not only gifted as a remarkable surgeon, but he is also personable and an excellent communicator with both parents and his patients. Amy Kager is also so wonderful!” — Bebee Schloegel

The Spine Center cares for infants, children, adolescents and young adults. We are nationally recognized for our patient care, education and research capabilities in the field of spinal deformity (scoliosiskyphosis, lordosis, spondylolysis), trauma, tumors, congenital malformations and other spine conditions. Peter Newton, M.D., an internationally recognized leader in pediatric spinal conditions, directs the Scoliosis Service, where patients from around the world come for treatment of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, neuromuscular scoliosis, congenital scoliosis and failed prior surgery for scoliosis. Learn more about these scoliosis types.

Among our programs is an Early Onset Scoliosis Clinic, directed by Burt Yaszay, M.D., which offers casting solutions as well as a 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. Vertical expandable prosthetic titanium rib (VEPTR) and Shilla methods are also utilized and customized to the needs of the patient.

Dr. Yaszay also directs our Intrathecal Baclofen Pump program in conjunction with our Rehabilitation Medicine team; he treats patients with spasticity and spinal deformities common in patients with cerebral palsy.

We also care for children with various neuromuscular conditions, which are frequently associated with spinal deformity. These include cerebral palsy, spina bifida and muscular dystrophies. Our tertiary care center specializes in scoliosis associated with many syndromes as well, offering knowledgeable treatment approaches for patients with conditions such as Marfan syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, osteogenesis imperfecta, Larsen syndrome, Rett syndrome, Prader Willi syndrome, neurofibromatosis, familial dysautonia and  VACTRL association.

Scoliosis-Guide-Cover

For comprehensive information on scoliosis, download this guide.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Along with providing the most advanced treatments, the Spine Center uses the latest technology for diagnosis and treatment planning, including the EOS Orthopedic Imaging System. This ultra-low-dose X-ray system provides high-quality 2-D and 3-D images while significantly reducing radiation exposure. Read how EOS technology enabled Rebecca Parrish to return to track running.

In addition, our MRI Center and latest CT scanner provide detailed imaging of the spinal cord and vertebrae, which is important for surgical planning. Our biomechanics lab also has 3-D printing capabilities so that a model of the spine can be used as a teaching tool or brought into the operating room to guide the spinal reconstruction.

Learn about your surgical options.

Research

The Spine Center also conducts research and is involved in several trials with the goals of improving treatment methods for scoliosis and other spinal conditions, and determining the cause of scoliosis. Patients are offered enrollment into the Setting Scoliosis Straight Harms Study Group registry or the Growing Spine Study Group registry as appropriate based on the diagnosis. The doctors of the Spine Center hold leadership positions in these organizations, which are multicenter research groups that utilize the power of large datasets to advance the care of complex spinal conditions. Our patients are the first beneficiaries of the knowledge gained by this research.

Video: Dr. Peter Newton discusses our groundbreaking X-ray technology