The Division of Spine and Scoliosis Surgery at Nicklaus Children's Hospital provides diagnosis and treatment of spinal disorders in children and teens.
The division has established itself as one of the most experienced and successful in the nation in treating spine disorders in children. Dr. Stephen George, Dr. Thomas Errico and Dr. Subaraman Ramchandran have played a key role in the creation of best practice guidelines that have significantly decreased the length of hospital stay after scoliosis surgery. Dr. Thomas Errico holds more than 150 registered patents and has been influential in the development of some of the latest and most innovative techniques in spinal surgery.
Treatments and Procedures
The division’s surgical success rates exceed national benchmarks. In early 2014, in conjunction with surgeons at 8 other pediatric institutions, a Performance Improvement Module developed a Best Practice Guideline (BPG) for decreasing length of stay in the treatment of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. The length of stay has decreased 20% as a result of this effort. This BPG has resulted in award winning presentations at major spinal meetings. The Nicklaus Children's Hospital Division of Spine and Scoliosis Surgery is at the top of the nation in terms of innovative care.
Conditions We Treat
The Division of Spinal Surgery at Nicklaus Children’s is one of the nation’s leading providers of treatment for children with spinal conditions. The division has been providing treatment for more than 35 years and has been instrumental in development of corrective surgical procedures for spine conditions now in use throughout the world.
A Team Approach
The division offers a team approach to care that has been established as a model of practice within the spinal surgical field. The team includes the spine surgical team’s highly experienced board-certified orthopedic surgeons who perform spinal surgery in children, dedicated spine-trained anesthesiologists and a PhD neurophysiologist who monitors, the spinal cord and nerve function throughout surgery. Dedicated spinal surgical nurses, technicians, and radiology technicians complete the spinal surgical team. The surgical nurses are experts in the care of spinal surgery patients, managing six-eight patients per week.
Routine scoliosis screenings are performed at the pediatricians office or at your child's school. If your child receives a positive screening result, the child should be evaluated by an orthopedic spine doctor to further assess whether he or she has any form of scoliosis.
Scoliosis is usually confirmed by taking an X-ray of the entire spine looking from front to back. Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine that can cause asymmetric growth of the spine and the chest wall. Common symptoms of scoliosis include: one shoulder blade higher than the other, uneven waist and hips, uneven rib cage, bump in the back or front of the chest.
Generally, scoliosis is a disorder of growth and usually occurs in adolescents during the time of growth spurt just before puberty. It is very important to diagnose scoliosis early so that appropriate treatment can be initiated to prevent any progression of the scoliosis and avoiding unnecessary back surgeries.
Latest Imaging Technology
The division offers the latest EOS imaging equipment, which enables the team to obtain a complete image of the spine while the patient is in a natural standing position.
Child and Family Friendly Approach
The division’s orthopedic nurses devote unlimited time to preoperative teaching for the patient and family to ensure that each is ready for the procedure. In addition, Child Life Specialists work with children and families upon admission to help with questions before, and after surgery. Children recover in the region’s leading pediatric hospital, which has many special child- and family-friendly features.
Research and Innovation
The Center for Spinal Disorders at Nicklaus Children's is committed to providing the latest in research and innovation to the patients and families we serve.
The center is currently involved in a study to lower the radiation exposure to patients over time, by studying whether a single, supine X-ray can be used for surgical planning versus having the patient undergo multiple X-rays, the traditional method to illustrate bending at the sides.
The Center for Spinal Disorders uses leading-edge technology to create three-dimensional images for surgical planning. These radiographic images are converted into three-dimensional images that visually guide the surgical when planning for surgery. Nicklaus Children's is the only center in South Florida with this technology.
The spine team uses evidence-based operative protocols to decrease blood loss during surgery and decrease the length of stay for spine surgery patients. This involves pre- and post- operative strategies, such as eliminating certain medications prior to surgery and donating blood, to ensure patients have optimal surgical outcomes. The typical hospital length of stay for a spine patient at Nicklaus Children’s is about two nights.
The Center for Spinal Disorders is one of few centers in the nation involved in a clinical trial for fusion less spinal surgery. This leading edge technique for scoliosis correction in children and adolescents is uses a vertical body tether to correct scoliosis rather than using traditional spinal fusion techniques.