Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children sign outside main campus

Jun 20, 2016 / Scoliosis & Spine

Excelling in Spine Research

Spinal conditions, such as scoliosis, can take many forms and vary in severity. Since the 1970s, our hospital has been an advocate for and leader in research and treatment of spinal disorders in pediatric patients. Discover why the Sarah M. and Charles E. Seay/Martha and Pat Beard Center for Excellence in Spine Research at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children remains the nation’s premier center for spinal deformity research.

Center for a Team of Talent Collaborations

The purpose is to bring a number of different talented people in various disciplines to the table to try to answer the unanswerable questions we have in spine deformity today.

“There are a lot of treatment strategies — I call it tools in your toolbox — and we pick the right tool for each individual patient and case,” adds staff orthopedist Dr. Amy McIntosh. “But the beautiful thing about [Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children] and the Center for Excellence in Spine Research is all of the tools are available.”

Along with talent and tools, there’s another important "T" in the equation: the team approach that lies at the heart of the center’s mission and vision. Whether they’re being treated by physicians, nurses or in-clinic orthotists, Scottish Rite Hospital patients receive only the best from the professionals working in these disciplines to provide treatment for scoliosis.

Putting Orthopedic Experts on the Research Front

The addition of Dr. Carol Wise as director of basic research has further advanced Scottish Rite Hospital’s research aims. Indeed, Wise was one of the first researchers to identify a gene for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. “The end result we’re hoping for,” Dr. Wise says, “is to cure this disorder — to treat it noninvasively so that we’re not taking children into surgery to correct a deformity of their spine.”

Treatments as Personal as Patients Themselves

Because each patient who comes to Scottish Rite Hospital is a distinct individual, no two treatment options are the same. However, what does remain the same is the unparalleled level of care that the Scottish Rite Hospital team dedicates to each patient.

Overall, Dr. Sucato says, the Scottish Rite Hospital team aims to prevent scoliosis from intensifying, thus preventing intensive treatments. But when surgeries are required, the team dedicates itself to making them as safe as possible: “The most important thing we do is we ask, ‘What are the important clinical questions we have for our patients? What are the answers that we don’t have today that we can research today so we have a better answer for tomorrow?'"

Watch this video to learn more about our Center for Excellence in Spine Research.


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