Scoliosis treatment

Spinal curvature disorders in children and teens

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Duke's pediatric scoliosis and neurosurgery specialists treat spinal curvature disorders in children and teens including scoliosis, kyphosis, spondylolysis, and spondylolisthesis. We offer advanced non surgical options such as bracing, as well as growth friendly spinal surgery. We tailor our treatment recommendations to your child's unique anatomy and health needs.

Spinal Implant Helps Girl With Early-Onset Scoliosis

Scoliosis and spinal curvature disorders

Many young people live with scoliosis and don't require aggressive treatment because their spine curvature is mild or does not cause serious back pain. However, an evaluation and treatment become necessary when postural abnormalities and breathing problems develop. Our team of pediatric spine surgeons is among the most experienced in North Carolina. We regularly perform complex reconstruction surgeries using the latest technology in intraoperative imaging, which allows us to operate with precision.  We also manage spina bifida in infants, often with immediate surgery.

Choose Duke for your child's scoliosis treatment because we offer:

  • Experts in all types of scoliosis. We have advanced training and expertise in a spinal deformity associated with cerebral palsy called neuromuscular scoliosis, congenital scoliosis, which is a defect present at birth, and early onset scoliosis, which refers to a side to side curve diagnosed before age 10. 
  • Growth-friendly surgical options. We are among the few scoliosis specialists in the region using the latest surgical approaches to correct spinal deformities. These include expandable spinal implants, which allow the spine to grow with the child, curved metal rods ( VEPTR) that help children with severe deformities to breathe better, and wires that guide spinal growth in the correct direction (Shilla technique).
  • Extensive surgical experience. We are the most experienced reconstructive surgery team in North Carolina, and perform more complex surgeries than any other hospital or spine center in North Carolina. There are several ways to approach corrective neurosurgery: anteriorly (from the front), posteriorly (from the back) or laterally (from the side). Your child receives safe, effective results tailored to their unique needs. 
  • Comprehensive support for young people. In addition to pediatric spine surgeons, your child's surgical team includes pediatric anesthesiologists, specialists in neurology and pulmonology and many others. We have a dedicated pediatric intensive care unit that caters exclusively to children, and a support staff to help them recover and rehabilitate quickly and safely.
  • Latest research. As the region's only members of the Scoliosis Research Society, our pediatric spine surgeons are up to date on the latest information available. 
  • Opportunities to participate in research. Your child may be eligible to participate in our research studies, which are currently exploring ways to improve mobility and recover faster following surgery.
  • Intraoperative imaging technology. We offer advanced, intraoperative capabilities with CT and MRI. That means our surgeons work with detailed, real-time 3-D pictures of your spine that guide them as they operate.



Your doctor may order one or more of the following imaging tests to diagnose scoliosis or track its progression over time:

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