Spine Center Services

At the Spine Center, we tailor our services to the needs of children with scoliosis or kyphosis.

By bringing together all aspects of care and follow-up in one place, we provide convenient specialty spine treatments to our young patients.

It's our goal to use the least invasive therapy possible that gives your child the best results.

Complete Evaluation and Diagnostics at the Spine Center

Perhaps the most crucial part of creating a plan to treat a spine disorder is making a proper diagnosis.

Some young people who have scoliosis or kyphosis may need testing beyond imaging — such as x-rays — to rule out other health problems.

And, many scoliosis patients need routine scans for a number of years to track the progress of their disease. This is why the use of low-radiation imaging is a crucial aspect of care.

At the Spine Center at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, we offer the state-of-the-art EOS™ imaging system. EOS uses only one-eighth the amount of radiation as a normal x-ray.

Physical Therapy and Schroth Therapy

Physical therapy is part of the treatment plan for many children with a diagnosis of scoliosis or kyphosis.

It meets more than one goal by helping to:

  • Strengthen core muscles in the stomach and back to reduce back pain and fatigue.
  • Target certain muscles in the back to slow or reverse the spinal curve.

One type of physical therapy — Schroth therapy — has become popular over the past few years.

These very specialized exercises are useful in treating spinal cord alignment issues and scoliosis symptoms.

Bracing for Spine Conditions in Children

When scoliosis or kyphosis treatment begins early, sometimes wearing a brace around the torso can control and even correct the disease.

At the Spine Center, we:

  • Offer a few different bracing options.
  • Craft braces specifically for each child.
  • Adjust and change the brace as your child grows.

Surgery for Spine Problems

Each child we see has unique needs, and a unique curve to his or her spine.

While we do offer spine surgery as a treatment option, we limit this to very few cases.

Children who need surgery to correct a spine condition often have health complications that will get worse if they don't have surgery.

If you and your doctor decide surgery is right for your child, we use the following techniques at the Spine Center:

  • Spinal fusion
  • Bone grafting
  • Metal pins to secure the spine

The Spine Center at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh's main campus in Lawrenceville, Pa., has an excellent surgical suite. We have everything from state-of-the-art operating rooms to special post-op care.

Second Opinions on Diagnosis and Treatment

The decision to treat a child for scoliosis or kyphosis — and what treatment options to pursue — can be tough for parents.

Whether your child’s doctor suggests a watch and wait approach or surgery, you may gain peace of mind from a second opinion.

Our Spine Center experts are happy to offer a second opinion on your child's diagnosis or treatment.

Spinal Condition Support Groups

The Spine Center assists the "Curvy Girls" support group with its meetings throughout the community.

The meetings give girls with spine conditions a place to:

  • Discuss their treatment
  • Offer tips and support
  • Share their insecurities about their condition

Visit the Curvy Girls Scoliosis support group website for details.

Contact the Spine Center

To make an appointment, contact the Spine Center at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh at 412-692-5530.