Spine and Scoliosis Center

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(800) 416-4441

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(302) 651-5913

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Patient Stories

Meet a few of our inspiring patients with spinal deformities.

Spine and Scoliosis Stories »

Conditions We Treat

Spine and Scoliosis Center at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children

1600 Rockland Road, Wilmington, DE 19803 | Get Map & Directions »

Dancer Rachel is back to soaring through the air six months after spinal fusion surgery

Avid dancer Rachel is back to soaring through the air six months after her spinal fusion surgery for idiopathic scoliosis.* (Photo by Keith Johnson)

Spinal deformities can have a major effect on kids' ribs, chest wall and trunk, and their ability to breathe, walk or just be "normal." That's why we want to help children feel and be their best — whatever kind of spinal deformity they face.* As experts in spine care, we specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of pediatric spinal deformities.

Scoliosis in Children

One of the main conditions we treat is scoliosis, which causes the spine to curve from side to side, like an "S" or a "C."

All of us have a little curvature in our spines. We need a certain amount so we can balance, move and walk. But three out of 100 people have scoliosis, and the condition can be so mild that it doesn't affect a child’s life and requires no medical treatment.

However, a curved spine can be visible, causing the body to tilt to the left or right, and it may make kids feel uncomfortable (physically and emotionally). If a curve is severe, it can even affect breathing and heart function, and lead to damage in the joints of the spine and pain during adulthood. So sometimes, kids with scoliosis may need to wear a back brace or have surgery to correct the problem.

The types of scoliosis we treat include:
  • Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis: “Idiopathic” just means the cause of the condition is unknown, but it is most likely genetic.
  • Congenital scoliosis: When a child is born with abnormally shaped vertebral bones that occurred in the mother’s womb during the baby’s development. As the baby grows, a curve may develop.
  • Early onset scoliosis: Diagnosed in children less than 9 years old, even in infants (also sometimes called "infantile scoliosis" or "juvenile scoliosis"). Watch Video About Early Onset Scoliosis Created by Growing Spine Foundation »
  • Neuromuscular scoliosis: Often happens in children with conditions like cerebral palsy, spina bifida and muscular dystrophy, when the spine curves because weak muscles can’t support the spine bones.
  • Syndromic scoliosis: When the condition is part of a syndrome like Marfan, neurofibromatosis, Prader-Willi, Friedreich’s ataxia, etc.

What's It Like to Have Scoliosis?

Two teens, who were patients at Nemours, share their stories in this video from Nemours KidsHealth, the No. 1 most-visited children's health website.

Scoliosis Guide

Learn More About Scoliosis in Children

Additional Conditions We Treat

Kyphosis and other spinal conditions are treated at the Spine & Scoliosis Center
  • Kyphosis: An abnormal rounding of the spine in the upper and middle part of the back that can (though rarely) cause a “hunchback”-like appearance (which is why it’s also sometimes called, “roundback” or “hunchback”). Types of kyphosis include:
    • Congenital kyphosis: When the spinal column develops abnormally before a baby is born; several of the vertebrae might be fused together or the bones might not have formed the right way.
    • Postural kyphosis: The most common type, which happens when bones and muscles don’t develop correctly.
    • Scheuermann’s kyphosis (pronounced "shoo-er-man's): When the vertebrae looks wedge-shaped, rather than rectangular, when viewed from the side on X-rays.
  • Spondylolisthesis: When one of the lower spinal bones slips forward in relation to another.
  • Skeletal dysplasia: A group of conditions characterized by abnormalities in the growth, development, shape or integrity of the bones and cartilage (the most common feature is dwarfism).

Learn More About Our World-Renowned Skeletal Dysplasia Care »

Patient Stories

  • Kyphoscoliosis: Gavin
    Kyphoscoliosis: Gavin

    To see Gavin now, riding his bike, playing sports and beginning first grade, you’d never know what he's been through in his 6 years of life.

  • Scheuermann's Kyphosis: Bill
    Scheuermann's Kyphosis: Bill

    Bill always knew he had had poor posture because, for the past 14 years, his mom often reminded him to “sit up straight.”

  • Scoliosis: AJ
    Scoliosis: AJ

    “Do what you have to do to get to where you want to be.” This is the thought that fueled AJ as he recovered from spine surgery.

  • Scoliosis: Anna
    Scoliosis: Anna

    Having had spine surgery just 4 weeks earlier, Anna never thought she would be going to her senior prom and, most definitely, not in a backless dress. But she did.

  • Scoliosis: James
    Scoliosis: James

    To look at James today, an active teenager and competitive swimmer, you would never know that he spent more than 8 years of his life battling scoliosis. And he won.

  • Scoliosis: Kelly
    Scoliosis: Kelly

    Kelly was suddenly catapulted from an innocent, routine “school check” to a condition for which surgery was the only realistic option.

  • Scoliosis: Sammy
    Scoliosis: Sammy

    Sammy was diagnosed with a dramatic 104-degree curve in her thoracic spine, resulting from congenital scoliosis. The only way to resolve a curve this severe was through surgery.

  • Scoliosis: Tara
    Scoliosis: Tara

    When Tara was 10, her family chiropractor sensed something wasn’t right and ordered a spinal X-ray, which revealed a slight S-curve.

  • Spondylolisthesis: Carley
    Spondylolisthesis: Carley

    For nearly a year, there were signs that something was wrong. First, it was the pain in her legs and a loss of flexibility. Then her gait (how she walked) changed.

* Each child’s surgery is different, and some patients may not be able to perform complex movements or participate in all sporting activities after their procedure. Discuss with your doctor what activities may or may not be permitted after your individual procedure.

KidsHealth.org by Nemours - the most-visted children's health website in the world

KidsHealth, No. 1 most-visited children's health website, provides in-depth information about your child's condition, diagnosis, and treatment.


Information for:
Parents | Teens | Kids
Teachers (Factsheet)

Q&A for Teens:
Can Scoliosis Affect My Height?


Information for:
Parents | Teens


Information for:
Parents | Teens | Kids

X-Ray Exams

Information for:
Parents | Kids