Nationally recognized spine care

UW Health Kids specialists offer nationally recognized spine care. Orthopedic surgeons, neurosurgeons and rehabilitation doctors tend to your child. They offer a wide range of nonsurgical treatments. If they decide surgery is the best option, they use the most up-to-date, innovative techniques.

We diagnose and treat neck and back problems in children and teens. These problems can be present at birth or appear as a child grows. In other cases, they result from an injury or trauma.

Conditions and treatments

Helping put your child back in business

Many conditions can affect a child’s back and spine. Whether your child’s condition is mild or complex, we have the expertise to diagnose and treat it.


Conditions we treat include:

  • Cervical spine disorders

  • Herniated disks and pinched nerves

  • Kyphosis

  • Neck and back pain

  • Sacroiliac dysfunction

  • Scoliosis

  • Spina bifida

  • Spinal bone spurs

  • Spinal fractures

  • Spinal infection

  • Spinal stenosis

  • Spinal trauma

  • Spine tumors

  • Spine-related sports injuries

  • Spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis

  • Tethered spinal cord

  • Whiplash

Treatments and services

We develop a treatment plan for every child that’s just right for them. Treatments we offer include:

  • Orthotics

  • Spinal rehabilitation

  • Spine injections

  • Spine physical therapy

  • Spine surgery

Specific procedures we perform include:

  • Surgery for spondylolisthesis

  • Complex and revision spinal surgery

  • CT-guided spine surgery

  • Treatment of spinal tumors

  • Foraminotomy (cervical and lumbar)

  • Microdiscectomy

  • Minimally invasive spine surgery and minimally invasive spinal fusion

  • Spinal deformity (scoliosis, kyphosis) correction

  • Spinal fusion

  • Spinal stenosis operations (laminectomy, laminoplasty, minimally invasive decompressions)

  • Stabilization of spinal trauma using minimally invasive techniques

  • Tethered cord release

  • Spinal cord stimulation for chronic pain

Robot-assisted pediatric spine surgery

Pediatric patients with spinal pathologies that warrant spinal fusion surgery now have a state-of-the-art minimally invasive option: Robot-assisted spine surgery.

At UW Health’s American Family Children’s Hospital — the first hospital in Wisconsin to offer the Mazor X Stealth Edition robotic guidance platform — we are planning and performing spinal fusion with the utmost precision and efficiency. Patients experience shorter recovery, less pain and a quicker path to normal activity.

Programs and research

Services to aid your child’s recovery

It’s never easy when a child is hurting or in the hospital. We offer several services to help when your child is dealing with a spine condition.

We care for children with the most challenging spine conditions through our Pediatric Complex Spine Clinic. Spine specialists from pediatric neurosurgery and pediatric orthopedics work together to provide your child’s care. We also offer education and resources for parents and caregivers.

Pediatric Complex Spine Clinic

Our child life specialists help kids deal with the fear and anxiety that can come with being in the hospital and getting medical care.

Child Life

Specially trained psychologists are here to work with the children we treat. They can help kids cope with body image issues, stress and anxiety, the challenges of sticking with their medical regimen and more.

Integrative health uses conventional and complementary therapies. Treatments such as acupuncture and mindfulness may help control your child’s pain.

Integrative health
Smiling child with sign reading UW Health Kids
UW Health Kids
Our pediatric experts have served the special needs of children for more than 100 years. We focus on each child’s unique needs and offer social and emotional support to help you and your child face even the most complex condition. Our long history includes the creation of medical advances that save lives around the world. Together, we get your child back to health and enjoying being a kid.

Patient stories

Young patients find great success

Many times when we treat children, their lives dramatically improve. Here are some of their stories.

A photo of Dani Olson wearing a back brace
ScoliosisDani's doing great after surgery
Dani is back in action, doing the things she loves following scoliosis surgery by pediatric orthopedic surgeon Dr. Laura Bellaire.
Zach Yosick portrait
Clonus“The technology made a huge difference in Zach’s outcome.”
Zach Yosick was 17 when he began to experience intense episodes of shaking in his legs – a condition called clonus that is linked to his cerebral palsy. There were times when Zach was shaking so much, he could barely hang on to his chair. At the same time, he was experiencing increasing pain in the lower-to-middle part of his back.

Kiara's story

Total spinal fusion gave Kiara new height and a new lease on life

Severe scoliosis left Kiara sidelined. She found help at American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison, Wis., one of just a few places in the country that could treat her condition.

Watch Kiara's story

Jacob's story

Spine surgery got Jacob back in the game

Jacob is an athlete who loves being active. But doctors discovered a problem in his neck that left him one collision away from grave danger. Thanks to the teamwork of UW Health Kids doctors, he’s now back in the game.

Watch Jacob's story

Meet our team

Teamwork helps us provide exceptional care

The expertise and close collaboration of our many specialists sets our care apart. Orthopedic surgeons, neurosurgeons and rehabilitation physicians work together to care for your child. Physical therapists often have roles as well. Our teamwork helps your child receive the best treatment.

Our providers


Care you can count on, just for kids

UW Health Kids Spine Medicine is located in American Family Children’s Hospital, and our Pediatric Complex Spine Clinic is located within our Science Dr Medical Center.

Patient and support services

Learn more about spine conditions

These resources can help you learn more about back and spine conditions:

Related services

More ways we can help

Learn more about services related to pediatric spine care: