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Pediatric Spine Program

Highest Quality of Care Near Home

We are excited to announce that Golisano Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida has joined forces with  Pediatric Orthopedics of SWFL to expand pediatric spine services in Southwest Florida. The pediatric spine program offers a comprehensive range of diagnostic testing and treatment plans for patients suffering from back and neck pain. 

POSWFL is the only pediatric orthopedic center in SWFL and has five fellowship-trained pediatric orthopedic surgeons. Children no longer need to travel to Orlando, Tampa, or Miami for certain procedures and treatments.

From back injuries to spinal deformities, there are times when children need to have surgery. With brand-new technologies and workflows in place we are able to make surgeries safer and more efficient.

Learn more about PEDS ORTHO here!

Scoliosis and Spinal Conditions

Our experienced team of experts are committed to caring for young patients with specialized orthopedic needs.


Scoliosis is a very manageable condition when diagnosed early. It can cause the spine to look like an “s” shape or a “c” shape. Common signs of scoliosis include uneven shoulders or hips, but it is generally, a painless condition that may go unnoticed until a routine exam or physical. 

It’s really important to distinguish that there are so many different types of scoliosis. While some children may just need their condition monitored, others may need treatment like a brace or surgery.

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Reporter: It can present like this (“s” shaped spine) or like this (“C” shaped spine)

Dr. Arun Hariharan: Scoliosis in the simplest of terms is a curvature of the spine and specifically it means a side to side curvature.

Reporter: But pediatric orthopedic surgeons say, there are also more mild cases of scoliosis that can be more difficult to diagnose.

Dr. Arun Hariharan: It’s really important to distinguish that there are so many different types of scoliosis. The most common one you see is the adolescent idiopathic scoliosis and that’s the teenager that gets it. One shoulder being higher than the other.

Reporter: Scoliosis is typically caused by genetics and worsens as the child is growing.

Dr. Arun Hariharan: There are certain cases where it’s not idiopathic scoliosis, but there are congenital, neuro-muscular, or traumatic cases, where we know that it’s caused by certain muscle imbalances or genetic problems within that condition.

Reporter: While some children may just need their condition monitored, others may need treatment like a brace or surgery.

Dr. Arun Hariharan: The severe curves is when we really need to talk about surgery. When it gets past a certain number of degrees, and we measure those degrees off an x-ray, patients start to experience trouble with their heart and lungs and overall function as far as standing.

Reporter: Making it important to notice any changes early to ensure children get the treatment they need. For Lee Health, I’m Lindsey Morton. 


Kyphosis is an abnormal forward curve in the upper spine. Children with kyphosis have a rounded or "hunchback" appearance. Children can be born with kyphosis or they can develop it because of other health reasons. Common health issues associated with kyphosis are spina bifida, neuromuscular conditions, and other brittle bone diseases. Kyphosis can also be caused by excessive slouching. 

For some children, kyphosis progresses and becomes worse over time. This can cause difference in shoulder/hip height and even tighten muscles in the back and legs. Depending on the cause of kyphosis, your child may need a brace, exercises, or even surgery.


Spondylolysis is a stress fracture of the spine. It can happen from repeated stress or from an injury to the spine. Spondylolisthesis happens when one of the stress fractures progresses to the point of causing the vertebrae to slip out of place. 

These conditions are one of the most common causes of back pain in children and adolescents. Children are more at risk for spondylolysis/spondylolisthesis because their bones are still growing, especially during a growth spurt.

Signs of this condition include:

  • lower back pain
  • pain that radiates down the legs
  • weakness in the legs or trouble walking
  • trouble peeing or bladder accidents
  • numbness and tingling in the groin and/or buttocks

If you think your child may have scoliosis or a different spinal conditions reach out to your primary care provider who can refer you to a specialist.

Pediatric Orthopedics of SWFL Locations

Fort Myers: 15821 Hollyfern Court, Fort Myers, FL 33908

Naples: 3361 Pine Ridge Rd, Suite 202, Naples, FL 34109

Phone : 239-432-5100

Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM