Like a belt passing through the loops of a pair of jeans, the spinal cord runs through the spine (backbone). The spinal cord carries signals from the brain to the rest of the body. When there’s damage to the spinal cord or spine, it can affect the spine’s ability to move like it should (this is called “spinal dysfunction”). And that can have an impact on kids’ abilities to do many of the things we take for granted every day, like walking and using the bathroom. At Nemours, we use a team approach to treat your child’s condition, while supporting your family at home, at school and in your community.
Spine Experts for Kids
Conditions We Treat
Disorders of the spine and spinal cord may be caused by an injury or related to other medical conditions. We see a full spectrum of conditions — far too many to list here. The conditions we treat vary depending on the location and providers selected. Don’t see a condition listed? Call us.
- cervical spine disorders (problems at the very top of the spine, in the neck)
- sacral agenesis (a rare condition, also known as “caudal regression syndrome,” that’s present at birth and involves a deformity in the base of the spine)
- spinal cord injury (damage to the nerves that connect the brainstem to the rest of the body)
- transverse myelitis (a disease of the material that wraps nerve cells that can block nervous system messages to the rest of the body)
- trauma or sports injuries to the spine (which can range from mild neck strains to complete breaks)
- tumors (a number of tumors and cancers can begin in the bones, nerves and other parts of the spine)
Services We Offer
We offer a variety of spinal dysfunction services, which may vary depending on the condition or location, including:
- bracing (collars and other braces that can support and stabilize the spine after an injury or surgery)
- neurosurgery (which can sometimes help kids regain function after a spinal cord injury)
- orthopedic care and/or surgery (to figure out the level of injury to the spine, and provide treatment to reduce pain and increase movement)
- physical therapy (to help with movement)
- radiology (imaging) services (tools like MRIs, CAT scans and X-rays to help us diagnose the problem and create a care plan)
- rehabilitation services (to help kids recover)
- social work (to help families with a wide variety of needs, like explaining their child’s condition, talking about their feelings, and helping to coordinate with the school)
- urology treatment (to help if the condition affects the brain signals to the urinary system, which can cause trouble controlling the bladder and other problems)
- wheelchair fitting and adjustments if needed
Why Choose Us
At Nemours, our experienced experts help children with spinal dysfunction using state-of-the-art equipment for diagnosis and treatment. And we provide supportive services to help your family along the way.
Regional Spinal Dysfunction Highlights
Services, programs and care teams differ at each location. Call for details.
We offer complete spinal dysfunction care at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children (Wilmington, Del.) and select satellite Nemours duPont Pediatrics locations.
- ranked among the top 10 children’s hospitals in the country, year after year, for orthopedic care by U.S. News & World Report
- nationally noted Spine and Scoliosis Center
- Nobel Prize-winning EOS imagine technology (to deliver the lowest possible dose of radiation, making medical imaging safer)
- wheelchair clinic and assistive technology to help children with spinal conditions move around easier
- on-site shops to make orthotics and prosthetics
- Center for Sports Medicine helps kids with sports injuries recover and prevent injury
- indoor aquatic therapy pools
- pediatric outpatient therapy services program to help kids maintain their recovery once they leave the hospital, one of the few in the region accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)
- home of pediatric orthopedics innovations like the Wilmington Brace (which set a standard for scoliosis care) and the Wilmington Robotic Exoskeleton (which helps kids with muscle weakness use their arms)
- Ronald McDonald House of Delaware right across from our hospital’s campus, for an affordable home away from home during long hospital stays
We offer complete spinal dysfunction care at Nemours Children’s Specialty Care, Jacksonville (working with Wolfson Children’s Hospital) and select satellite locations.