Cervical Spine Conditions

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The pediatric orthopedic specialists with Norton Children’s Orthopedics of Louisville (COOL), affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, are the foremost providers of pediatric orthopedic care in Louisville, Kentucky, and Southern Indiana. Our fellowship-trained pediatric orthopedic specialists provide specialized care for children with acquired or congenital cervical spine conditions.

Many cervical spine conditions, whether common and rare, are congenital and have a genetic component. This means that the conditions are present at birth and have been passed down from parent to child by genes. Additionally, there could be an unknown factor that caused or disrupted development before the baby was born. Cervical spine conditions can vary widely in children; some are visible at birth and others may not be diagnosed until a child begins showing symptoms.

Cervical spine conditions can vary in severity and may affect each child differently as they grow and develop. Many of these conditions do not just affect the spine, but also affect other parts of the body.

Signs and Symptoms of Cervical Spine Conditions

Depending on the particular condition, symptoms may include:

  • Absent, irregular or fused ribs
  • Abnormal growth of arms and legs
  • Abnormal hips and joints
  • Bone fractures
  • Breathing issues
  • Cervical spine instability
  • Chest deformity
  • Craniofacial issues, such as cleft palate, jaw malformations and dental issues
  • Delayed or accelerated development and growth
  • Spinal deformities such as scoliosis, kyphosis or lordosis
  • Hand and foot anomalies
  • Intellectual and/or cognitive disabilities
  • Organ abnormalities including kidney, lungs, heart, liver, gastrointestinal tract
  • Short stature (dwarfism)
  • Short neck with restricted mobility and pain
  • Skin abnormalities
  • Vision and hearing impairments

Cervical Spine Conditions We Treat

Midcervical Spine Conditions

  • Diastrophic dysplasia
  • Larsen syndrome

Upper Cervical Spine Conditions

  • 2 deletion syndrome
  • Down syndrome (trisomy 21)
  • Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP)
  • Goldenhar syndrome
  • Klippel-Feil syndrome
  • Kniest dysplasia
  • Morquio syndrome (mucopolysaccharidosis type IV)
  • Pseudoachondroplasia
  • Spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia congenita (SED)

Other Conditions With Associated Cervical Spine Issues

  • Aarskog syndrome
  • Apert syndrome
  • Atelosteogenesis type 1
  • Campomelic dysplasia
  • Cervico-oculo-acoustic syndrome (Wildervanck syndrome)
  • Chondrodysplasia punctata
  • Cleidocranial dysostosis
  • Dyggve-Melchior-Clausen syndrome
  • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome type IV
  • Fetal alcohol syndrome
  • Frontometaphyseal dysplasia
  • Hajdu-Cheney syndrome
  • Hurler syndrome
  • Marfan syndrome
  • Maroteaux-Lamy syndrome (mucopolysaccharidosis type VI)
  • Marshall-Smith syndrome
  • Melorheostosis
  • Metaphyseal chondrodysplasia
  • Metatropic dysplasia
  • Mucopolysaccharidoses (MPS)
  • Multiple epiphyseal dysplasia
  • Osteopathia striata
  • Osteopoikilosis
  • Pyknodysostosis
  • Spina bifida
  • Spondylocarpotarsal synostosis syndrome
  • Spondyloepimetaphyseal dysplasia
  • Spondylometaphyseal dysplasia, Kozlowski type
  • Weaver syndrome

Cervical Spine Condition Treatment

Treatment for cervical spine conditions will be unique based on a child’s diagnosis and current condition. The pediatric orthopedic specialists with COOL work with specialists from across the Norton Children’s network to provide care with a multidisciplinary approach that treats the whole child.

Surgical and nonsurgical treatments for cervical spine conditions include:

  • Bracing
  • Implantation of growing rods
  • Physical therapy
  • Spinal fusion
  • Vertical expandable prosthetic titanium ribs (VEPTR)

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