Skip to main content Skip to main content

Spine Center

The spine specialists at Akron Children’s are using innovative technologies and techniques to advance care for children and adolescents with abnormal curvature of the spine (scoliosis and kyphosis), as well as other spinal conditions. We were the first hospital in Northeast Ohio to obtain an EOS Ultra Low Dose 2D/3D Imaging System, which allows higher quality imaging of spinal deformities, while limiting your child’s exposure to radiation. We’ve also implemented best practices and enhanced care coordination for scoliosis surgery to improve your child’s recovery time and shorten their hospital stay.

The most common spinal problem affecting children and teens is idiopathic scoliosis where the exact cause of the curved spine is unknown. In rarer cases, pediatric scoliosis is congenital, meaning the spinal deformity develops before the child is born. Another form is neuromuscular scoliosis, which can occur in children who have medical conditions that affect their ability to control the muscles that support their back and spine. Akron Children’s offers both surgical and non-surgical treatment solutions for pediatric and adolescent scoliosis based on your child’s curvature and age.

Because scoliosis surgery stops the growth of the spine and can also interfere with the growth of the chest cavity, it is typically only performed on children who are going through puberty and are near the end of growth.

If your child is too young to undergo scoliosis surgery, we have several treatment options that allow us to prevent or delay the need for surgery.

Department Main Image

Why Akron Children's

Akron Children’s spine specialists offer these treatments:

Our EOS Ultra Low Dose 2D/3D Imaging System allows quick high quality imaging of spinal deformities, while limiting your child’s exposure to radiation. Learn more.


We are the only facility in the region that offers the Schroth method of Physical Therapy to manage scoliosis. Learn more.

Todd Ritzman, MD, FAAOS, FAOA

Dr. Ritzman is a surgeon and chair of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Akron Children’s Hospital. He’s also the director of the Spine Program and co-director of the pediatric orthopedic and scoliosis fellowship at the hospital. After graduating from The Ohio State University College of Medicine, he completed a residency in orthopedic surgery at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and a fellowship in pediatric orthopedic and scoliosis at San Diego Children’s Hospital in California. Dr. Ritzman has a special interest in in spinal deformity research, education and innovation. He is certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery, and is a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and the American Orthopedic Association. He’s earned several awards and grants for his work, as well as contributed to numerous publications, presentations and lectures. Additionally, he’s a clinical assistant professor in orthopedic surgery at Northeast Ohio Medical University.

Meet Todd Ritzman, MD, FAAOS, FAOA

Lorena Floccari, MD

Dr. Floccari has been in practice since 2019. She joined Akron Children’s Hospital as a pediatric orthopedic surgeon. She received her medical degree from The Ohio State University. Dr Floccari completed her residency at the Mayo Clinic of Rochester, Minnesota. From there she completed a pediatric orthopedic fellowship at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas, Texas and a pediatric spine fellowship at Starship Children’s Hospital in Auckland, New Zealand. Dr. Floccari is a member of the Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North America and her areas of special interest include pediatric and adolescent spine deformity, early onset scoliosis, congenital scoliosis and pediatric limb deformity.

Meet Lorena Floccari, MD

Kenneth Bono, MD

Dr. Bono has been in practice since 2010. He joined Akron Children’s Hospital as a pediatric orthopedic surgeon. He received his medical degree from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. Dr. Bono completed his residency at Cleveland Clinic – Akron General Medical Center. He then went on to complete a pediatric orthopedic and scoliosis surgery fellowship at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Dr. Bono is a member of the Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North America and is certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery. His areas of special interest include pediatric and adolescent hip disorders, pediatric knee injuries and spasticity.

Meet Kenneth Bono, MD

William Schrader, MD

Dr. Schrader is a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Akron Children’s Hospital, where he’s been practicing since 1989. He also serves as the hospital’s surgical director in the Osteogenesis Imperfecta Clinic, surgical consultant in the Skeletal Dysplasia Clinic and staff surgeon in the Spine Center. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, he completed his orthopedic surgery residency at Summa Health System in Akron, Ohio. He went on to complete a fellowship in pediatric orthopedic surgery and spinal deformity at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas, Texas. Dr. Schrader is certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery and the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America. He’s presented at numerous educational and professional forums, as well as contributed to dozens of presentations and publications. Additionally, he’s an associate professor of orthopedic surgery at Northeast Ohio Medical University.  

Meet William Schrader, MD

MAGEC is a leading-edge magnetically controlled growing rod system for the treatment of scoliosis. After initial implantation, lengthening is achieved non-invasively by using magnetic external remote control. Learn more

Make a donation to support the Spine Center at Akron Children’s Hospital. 

DONATE


Locations

Contact Spine Center

330-543-3500

Location Small Image
Spine Center
Akron Children's Hospital Spine Center
Considine Professional Building
215 West Bowery Street
Suite 7200
Akron, Ohio 44308
Fax: 330-543-5001
More about this location...
Map & directions
Location Small Image
Orthopedics
Akron Children's Hospital Orthopedics, Akron
Considine Professional Building
215 West Bowery Street
Suite 7200
Akron, Ohio 44308
Fax: 330-543-5001
More about this location...
Map & directions
Location Small Image
Orthopedics, Boardman
Akron Children's Hospital Orthopedics, Boardman
6505 Market Street
Building A
Boardman, Ohio 44512
Fax: 330-729-1946
More about this location...
Map & directions
Location Small Image
Orthopedics, Boston Heights
Akron Children's Hospital Orthopedics, Boston Heights
Akron Children's Health Center
328 East Hines Hill Road
Boston Heights, Ohio 44236
More about this location...
Map & directions
Location Small Image
Orthopedics, North Canton
Akron Children's Hospital Orthopedics, North Canton
Akron Children's Health Center, North Canton
6076 Whipple Avenue Northwest
North Canton, Ohio 44720
More about this location...
Map & directions
Location Small Image
Orthopedics, Norwalk
Akron Children's Hospital Orthopedics, Norwalk
Fisher-Titus Medical Center
282 Benedict Avenue
Norwalk, Ohio 44857
More about this location...
Map & directions

Our Doctors/Providers

Department Heads:
Todd Ritzman
Todd Ritzman, MD, FAAOS, FAOA

Chair, Department of Orthopedic Surgery; Director, Spine Center; Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon

Loading patient reviews...
Physicians/Providers:

Kenneth Bono, MD

Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon

loading...

Lorena Floccari, MD

Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon; Research Director, Spine Center

William Schrader, MD

Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon

loading...

Scoliosis Treatments

Treatment of scoliosis varies based on your child's age and the severity of the spinal curve. Through Akron Children's Spine Program, we offer the latest innovations in scoliosis treatment tailored to your child's specific needs.

Infants and toddlers

At Akron Children’s, scoliosis in infants and toddlers has been treated with Mehta casts with excellent results. Over a year-long period, your child will be placed in a cast that is changed every 6-12 weeks, depending on their growth. The casts are waterproof, making it easier for you to bathe your child. Once the casting process is complete and your child’s curvature is corrected, a brace will be used to keep the spine in alignment as your child grows.

School-age children

Bracing is frequently used in children ages 5-9. A brace will not typically cure your child’s spine deformity, but it can prevent the curve from increasing.

If your child’s curvature worsens before age 10, the spine may not be large enough to allow a definitive spinal fusion, and we may recommend surgery before your child reaches adolescence. In this case, magnetic growth rods or Shilla implants can be used, depending on your child’s condition. These medical devices encourage continued growth of the spine, while controlling or correcting your child’s spinal curve.

Adolescents and teens

Bracing may be an option for your tween or teen with scoliosis, preventing curve progression 75% of the time. We also offer an innovative form of physical therapy known as the Schroth Method that can optimize your child’s function and may be able to improve bracing’s effectiveness to stop or slow your child’s curve progression and prevent further spinal deformity. Schroth physical therapy is typically used with growing children and adolescents.

If surgery is necessary, our orthopedic surgeons will perform a procedure that corrects the spinal deformity and prevents recurrence of the deformity in adulthood. This is called a spinal fusion and helps prevent long term impacts of a curve’s indefinite progression later in life. The surgeon uses metal rods and screws to correct the spine and keep it straight while it heals.

Akron Children’s spinal surgeons prioritize safety and quality. Complex cases are simplified with the use of the innovative O-Arm Surgical Imaging System. This system uses 3D imaging and navigation in real-time to guide surgeons in performing procedures with a higher degree of precision and safety. By using innovative surgical techniques and routinely performing procedures with two attending surgeons, our orthopedic surgeons are able to perform complex procedures safely and efficiently, reducing blood loss and surgical time, which enables excellent outcomes and expedited recovery. This focus on quality and safety enables your teen to return to the activities they love most.

After a spinal fusion, your teen should be able to ease into activities with some restrictions by 3 months, with a full return to activities by 6 months.

Related Resources

Videos

Back braces

About 20% of children with scoliosis need to wear a back brace, which acts as a holding device to keep the spine from developing more of a curve. A brace won’t make the spine straight, but it may prevent the curve from increasing. There are many different types of back braces, which are typically made of lightweight materials. Some braces are made to be worn 18-20 hours a day, while others are worn only at night. Read more.

Magnetic growth rods

Magnetic growth rods are titanium rods that contain small magnets. They are attached to your child’s spine during surgery to brace the spine and help prevent the spinal curvature from getting worse. Read more.

Mehta casting

Although Mehta casting is not a new technique for treating early-onset scoliosis in infants and toddlers, it has been shown to be very effective, particularly in correcting moderate scoliosis. The spine surgeons at Akron Children’s are specially trained in this casting technique, which was developed more than 50 years ago by British orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Min Mehta. Read more.

Schroth Physical Therapy

The Schroth Method is an innovative form of physical therapy that can improve your child’s spinal deformity without surgery. Used in combination with bracing, it is typically used with growing children and adolescents. Read more.

Shilla implants

Shilla implants may be used to help guide the normal growth of the spine. Shilla implants are rods that are attached to screws along the spine, known as anchor points, allowing the spine to continue to grow on its own. Read more.

Surgical correction

If surgery is necessary, our orthopedic surgeons will perform a procedure that corrects the spinal deformity and prevents recurrence of the deformity in adulthood. This is called a spinal fusion and helps prevent long term impacts of a curve’s indefinite progression later in life. Read more.

Open Clinical Studies

Scoliosis Outcomes Database Registry

The goal of this study is to monitor long term-outcomes of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis patients who receive surgical treatment, and patients who choose not to have surgery.

More about this study...


Currently recruiting

Pediatric Spine Registry

The goal of this study is to collect patient data on children with spine and/or chest wall disorders.

More about this study...


Currently recruiting

Prospective Database Registry of Scheuermann's Kyphosis

The goal of this study is to monitor long term-outcomes of patients with Scheuermann’s Kyphosis who receive surgical treatment, and patients who choose not to have surgery. 

More about this study...


Currently recruiting

Prospective Database Registry of Scoliosis in Children with Cerebral Palsy

The goal of this study is to monitor long term-outcomes of scoliosis patients who receive surgical treatment, and patients who choose not to have surgery.

More about this study...


Currently recruiting

Study of Scoliosis Correction in patients with Marfan Syndrome

The goal of this study is to monitor long term-outcomes of patients with Marfan Syndrome who receive surgical treatment for scoliosis, and patients who choose not to have surgery.

More about this study...


Currently recruiting

https://www.akronchildrens.org/files/COVID-Inforgraphic.html

What Should Families Expect When They Come for an Appointment?

At Akron Children’s, your child’s health and safety is our priority. Please continue to bring your child for wellness visits, vaccinations or sick care appointments that keep children healthy. We want to assure you that we have taken additional precautions to ensure a safe environment for your child and family. The following are additional safety efforts, in addition to our normal cleaning protocols, that we are taking to help you be comfortable bringing your child to an appointment.

Limiting the Number of Caregivers and Face Covering

The number of caregivers permitted to accompany a child to an appointment is dependent on the department you are visiting. Everyone visiting an Akron Children's facility is asked to wear masks or face coverings, except for kids under 2 or those with sensory issues. Masks will be provided for visitors who do not bring their own.

Health Screening Station Ahead Sign

Checking In and Screening of Visitors

Akron Children's now offers Mobile Check-in to limit your exposure to others. You'll receive a text an hour before your child's appointment arrival time. Click the link in the text when you reach the Akron Children's facility for your child's appointment. You will receive a confirmation text that reminds you to wait in your car. Once we determine appropriate spacing is available inside the building, you'll receive a third text to let you know it's OK to come in for your appointment.

Immediately upon entering the building, your temperature will be taken, either by a thermal scanner or a greeter who will also ask you a few questions.

If you are in a waiting room, you’ll notice signs and a limited number of chairs. This is to remind our patients to keep 6 feet of physical distance between your family and others.

Precautions If You Suspect Your Child Has COVID-19

Call your child’s healthcare professional if your child is sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing and has been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or if you live in or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19. Your health care professional will work with Ohio’s public health department and the CDC to determine if your child needs to be tested for COVID-19.

View all the safety precautions Akron Children's is taking.

Care Pathways

Akron Children’s Hospital uses care pathways -- standardized plans of care that follow best practices for specific conditions or medical procedures. These care pathways are clearly defined and fine-tuned to guide our medical professionals in delivering the best care to our patients.

 

SCOLIOSIS PATHWAY

Akron Children’s Spine Center has a multidisciplinary team of experts that follows a comprehensive, evidence-based pathway for patients undergoing surgical correction of spinal curvature. By incorporating best practices before, during and after scoliosis surgery, this pathway has improved patient comfort and mobility, shortened the number of days in the hospital by more than 50%, significantly decreased the cost of care and yielded excellent patient outcomes.

 

PAIN MANAGEMENT GUIDELINES FOR SURGICAL PROCEDURES

Akron Children’s orthopedic surgeons were the first group of surgeons in the United States to develop guidelines for the appropriate management of pain once patients go home after surgery. These guidelines encourage the use of non-narcotic medications as much as possible, while reserving narcotics only for the treatment of severe pain. By following these guidelines, our orthopedic surgeons have decreased the use of narcotics and the associated risks, while still providing good pain control for our patients.

 

ACL PATHWAY

The sports medicine surgeons at Akron Children’s have reviewed all of the best methods of care for patients undergoing ACL reconstruction. They’ve incorporated these practices into a care pathway that starts before surgery and continues until the patient has returned to the activities they enjoyed before the injury. This care pathway enhances the hospital experience for our patients and their families and, ultimately, leads to better overall outcomes for our patients. 

 

NEUROMUSCULAR HIP PATHWAY

Our multidisciplinary team has developed a pathway for patients undergoing hip surgeries to maximize the health of their hips long term. Our surgical pain management techniques and collaboration between our medical and orthopedic teams ensure that our patients recover from their hip procedures in the most comfortable and safest environment possible.


Some of the Conditions We Treat...

Back fracture, back injury, back pain, back stress fracture, broken back, cerebral palsy, cervical fracture, cervical neck pain, cervical radiculopathy, cervical spine injuries, cervical strain, cervicalgia, congenital musculoskeletal deformity of spine, curvature of spine, diastrophic dysplasia, disorder of intervertebral disc, fractured spine, herniated disc, herniated disk, hump back, idiopathic scoliosis, kyphosis, lordosis, low back pain, myelomeningocele, neck injury, neck pain, neck strain, pars defect, Scheuermann's disease, scoliosis, spine fracture, spine injury, spondy, spondylolisthesis, spondylolysis, sway back, sciatica, scoliosis evaluation, spine fracture, spondylosis, stress fracture



Related Stories