Children's Orthopaedics

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Pediatric spine services at Children's of Mississippi are among the most sought after in the country. Our specialists care for many different spine conditions, including all types of scoliosis and kyphosis (curves of the spine), spondylolisthesis (stress fractures and slipped vertebrae), and pulmonary insufficiency syndrome (a condition caused by a small chest frequently secondary to abnormal growth of the spine).

Treatment options include leading-edge technologies that allow us to bring the best possible medical care to your child.

Conditions we treat

  • Scoliosis
    Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine. The most common type is idiopathic and is thought to be familiar or genetic in its origins. Other types include congenital (born with an abnormal spine) and neuromuscular or caused by another neurologic condition, such as cerebral palsy or spina bifida. Treatments vary from observation to bracing to minimally invasive surgery to large surgeries with rods.
  • Kyphosis
    Kyphosis is a curvature of the chest spine looking at it from the side. There are different types and causes of kyphosis, including Scheuremann's and congenital. Important factors are the patient's age and severity of the curve.
  • Spondylolisthesis
    Spondylolisthesis is a condition where there is a defect or stress fracture in the pars or posterior portion of the spine. This can exist at birth or be caused by sports such as gymnastics or football. Most people have no symptoms or problems. As long as there is no pain or instability, no treatment is needed. If pain exists, it is usually treated with physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medications. If instability exists, surgery is needed. In some cases, one vertebral body may slip on the one below it, creating a condition called spondylolisthesis. Unstable or progressive slippage requires surgery.
  • Pulmonary insufficiency syndrome
    The rare condition in children frequently is caused by congenital scoliosis, early idiopathic scoliosis or fused ribs. When this occurs, it can prevent the normal growth and expansion of the chest and lungs. Most children with this syndrome benefit from growing spine techniques, including growing rods of VEPTR surgery.
  • Complex spine deformities
    The skilled pediatric orthopaedic team includes a surgeon specially trained to deal with complex spine deformities. Conditions include compression where the brain stem and spinal cord meet, forcing brain matter into the spinal canal or vertebral matter upward into the brain stem. Surgery typically requires skull base approaches to relieve compression combined with spinal stabilization.

Procedures we offer

  • Spinal fusion
    When curves cannot be controlled by bracing or staples, or when a curve is already too big for other options, spinal fusion is done. This involves using rods to straighten the spine. Since it is a fusion, our goal at Children's of Mississippi is to straighten the curved portion and have the involved segments grow together. This stabilizes the new, straighter position.
  • Vertebral body stapling
    Spine stapling is a minimally invasive motion-sparing technique designed to modulate spine growth and straighten curves caused by scoliosis. It can be used instead of a brace or in children in whom a brace is thought not to be effective. An advantage of stapling is the opportunity to lessen the curve. An endoscopic camera helps guide the way as the surgeon inserts special titanium alloy staples along the outer curve of the spine. This procedure is available only to children who have significant remaining growth.
  • Vertical expandable prosthetic titanium rib (VEPTR)
    Scoliosis and deformed chest walls can restrict lung growth in children. When this occurs, children can develop pulmonary insufficiency syndrome. In essence, their lungs are too small to allow normal function and breathing. Our team of experts includes a pediatric specialist, the only one in the state and the first in our multistate region, trained to surgically implant a child-specific growth system that helps to reshape and grow the chest to allow for improved lung function.

    The vertical expandable prosthetic titanium rib (VEPTR) device uses telescoping titanium rods to expand and support the deformed chest cavity, providing easier breathing and reduced medical problems as the child grows. The VEPTR device may be an option for patients affected by thoracic insufficiency syndrome, scoliosis, Jarcho-Levin, missing or fused ribs and missing or malformed vertebra.
  • Minimally invasive spine surgery
    Whenever possible, we use techniques, such as thoracoscopy, direct lateral exposure and percutaneous screws, to make smaller surgical incisions.