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.
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
Neck and back pain
Spinal bone spurs
Spine-related sports injuries
Spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis
Tethered spinal cord
Treatments and services
We develop a treatment plan for every child that’s just right for them. Treatments we offer include:
Spine physical therapy
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)
Minimally invasive spine surgery and minimally invasive spinal fusion
Spinal deformity (scoliosis, kyphosis) correction
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.
Our Child Life specialists help kids deal with the fear and anxiety that can come with being in the hospital and getting medical care.
Specially trained psychologists are here to work with the children we treat. They may 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.
Young patients find great success
Many times when we treat children, their lives dramatically improve. Here are some of their stories.
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.
Spine surgery put 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.
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.
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.
Care you can count on, just for kids
UW Health Kids Spine Medicine is located in American Family Children’s Hospital, and our UW Health Kids 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:
More ways we can help
Learn more about services related to pediatric spine care: