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Rady Children's Specialists

Medical Treatments

A number of non-surgical treatment options are available for scoliosis and other spinal conditions.

These include:

Careful 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. Our EOS imaging system was the first installed in a pediatric hospital in the United States and offers the lowest radiation exposure of any system available. Our patients’ radiation exposure is reduced from 10-50 times compared to routine radiographs. These microdose exposures enhance the safety of our scoliosis monitoring program.

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. We are committed to maintaining a strong core for our patients and augment bracing with individualized exercise programs.

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 in order to achieve maximal correction of the spinal deformity. Bracing can be a challenge and we offer patients and families a supportive network that encourages success.

Casting – At times, a brace is not enough, and we offer casting to control scoliosis progression. This has proved to be a valuable approach for many young patients with early onset scoliosis.

Halo Gravity Traction – Slow gradual traction is a method utilized in many severe cases of spinal deformity for both young and older children.

Learn about surgical options.