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Conditions We Treat

Spine and Scoliosis Center at Nemours Children’s Hospital, Delaware

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

Other Conditions

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 »

* 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. 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