Restoring Lives for Children and Adults With Scoliosis

The scoliosis specialists at Norton Leatherman Spine are respected around the world as leading providers of scoliosis treatment. Our specialists include Norton Neuroscience Institute spine surgeons to provide comprehensive scoliosis care. Norton Leatherman Spine is a leading destination for patients in Louisville and Southern Indiana with curvature of the spine.

The pioneering work of Kenton D. Leatherman, M.D., in developing new approaches to treating scoliosis after World War II provides the foundation for today’s practice. Our scoliosis specialists are at the leading edge of innovative scoliosis care today.

Do you need to see a specialist?

Neck and back pain making things uncomfortable? Complete our Back and Neck Pain Assessment to see if it’s time to see a Norton Leatherman Spine provider.

Our adult and pediatric specialists continue Dr. Leatherman’s devotion to advancing medical science to provide better outcomes with fewer side effects for patients.

Our specialists will discuss options ranging from exercise treatment to bracing to surgery, depending on the severity and type of scoliosis.

An International Reputation for Excellence

Norton Leatherman Spine has been a leader in developing new techniques for scoliosis surgery. We have been at the forefront using neuromonitoring that can provide an early warning system during surgery to prevent neurological complications. We also have been leaders in the development of computer-assisted navigation that offers greater precision around critical structures of the spine.

Norton Leatherman Spine also is a leading U.S. center for scoliosis-specific exercise treatment, which seeks to avoid the need for brace treatment or surgery in appropriate patients.

Our history and our continued dedication to innovation, combined with the expertise of Norton Neuroscience Institute spine specialists, mean your doctor is uniquely trained and equipped to provide a precise diagnosis. We’ll work with you to outline a scoliosis treatment plan to restore your life and get you moving with less pain.

Patients travel from around the world to get the unique care offered by the scoliosis specialists at Norton Leatherman Spine. Experience treating thousands of adult and childhood scoliosis patients each year, combined with a commitment to developing innovative treatments, allows our scoliosis specialists to give you a precise diagnosis and treat your condition so you can get back to living your life.

Our Scoliosis Specialists Are Known For Their Expertise

Steven D. Glassman, M.D., followed in Dr. Leatherman’s footsteps, becoming president of the Scoliosis Research Society, the most prestigious organization for scoliosis surgeons around the world.

John R. Dimar II, M.D., is a former education council chair for the Scoliosis Research Society. In that position, he helped develop scoliosis education for surgeons around the world.

Rolando M. Puno, M.D., has expertise in the care of patients with neuromuscular scoliosis and myelomeningocele. For many years, he has operated a statewide clinic dedicated to the care of these complex deformities.

Learn more about pediatric scoliosis care at Norton Children’s Hospital.

Low-dose Imaging

Scoliosis patients typically need many X-rays to monitor the progression of the curve and to follow up after treatment. Norton Leatherman Spine uses an advanced imaging system called EOS Imaging to collect 2D and 3D images while exposing patients to extremely low doses of radiation. If surgery is required, the system provides detailed tools for planning the operation, including 3D models.

The EOS  Imagingsystem offers 50%to 85% less radiation than traditional X-ray systems and 95%less dose than basic CT scans. The micro-dose feature further reduces radiation exposure.

With the help of a $300,000 grant from the Norton Children’s Hospital Foundation, with support from the PACCAR Foundation, the EOS Imaging system recently was installed at Norton Healthcare Pavilion in downtown Louisville, Kentucky.

Special Care for Our Youngest Patients

Children often have no pain, weakness, numbness or other symptoms that point to a curvature of the spine. Idiopathic scoliosis often is discovered by a parent while the child is undressed or during routine physical examinations by the family doctor.

Idiopathic scoliosis doesn’t go away with time or growth of the child — it must be evaluated and corrected by a specialist. Left untreated, scoliosis can worsen and affect the lungs, heart and other internal organs.

Side-to-side misalignment that results in shoulder imbalance, chest or rib asymmetry, or leaning side to side may be a result of scoliosis.

Scoliosis is seven times more common in those assigned female at birth. It runs in families and can be present at birth or develop in adolescence. Early onset scoliosis occurs in children before age 3, juvenile scoliosis occurs in children between the ages of 4 and 9, and the more common adolescent idiopathic scoliosis occurs between ages 10 and 17.

Curves tend to continue to increase throughout adult life due to degeneration of the discs, arthritis and poor bone quality.

If there is suspicion or a strong family history of a scoliosis deformity, a qualified spine specialist should be consulted. Scoliosis can be diagnosed easily with a physical exam and full-length spine X-rays. Additional testing may be recommended if other potential causes of the curvature are suspected.

Treating Scoliosis

Curves are highly likely to progress in young patients who have larger curves and significant remaining growth. Small curves in patients who are finished growing likely won’t progress until old age.

Norton Leatherman Spine scoliosis specialists are at the leading edge of nonsurgical treatments, the latest bracing techniques and, if required, state-of-the-art surgical techniques.

In most instances, only observation is required for curves less than 20 degrees in younger patients or larger curves in mature teenagers. Bracing has been shown to be up to 75% effective in preventing curves of 20 degrees to 45 degrees in growing adolescents from progressing to the point of requiring surgery.

Surgery is recommended for curves that are progressing rapidly in young patients with significant growth left in the spine, when brace treatment has failed or if the size of the curve is 45 degrees to 50 degrees in the chest area or 35 degrees to 40 degrees in the lower back.

The most common surgical treatment for scoliosis is to straighten and realign the spine. Your scoliosis specialist will explain treatment options and create a customized plan to help achieve a well-aligned, balanced and pain-free spine.

About Norton Leatherman Spine

Norton Leatherman Spine is a combined team of orthopedic spine surgeons, neurosurgeons and pain management specialists who provide care for adults and children from Louisville and Southern Indiana, as well as from across the region, nation and world.

  • A multidisciplinary team of 45 specialists offers a comprehensive array of treatment options that include medication, pain management, rehabilitation and surgery, including minimally invasive procedures and neurosurgical therapies.
  • Norton Leatherman Spine physicians are widely renowned and exceptionally experienced, performing more than 4,000 surgeries a year.
  • Our specialists are internationally recognized leaders in clinical research of spinal disease, injury and deformity, and have served in senior positions in the Scoliosis Research Society, the most prestigious organization for scoliosis surgeons around the world.
  • Norton Healthcare is the first health system in the nation to be recognized as an Advanced Orthopedic & Spine Center of Excellence by DNV.
  • We use the EOS Imaging system, which collects high-resolution images while exposing the patient to 50% to 85% less radiation than traditional X-rays and 95% less than basic CT scans. The system is especially beneficial to scoliosis patients who often need repeated imaging to monitor their progress.
  • We accept Medicare, Medicaid and most major commercial insurance plans.
  • Use Norton MyChart to communicate with your provider, manage appointments, refill prescriptions, get alerted if an earlier appointment becomes available and more, anytime from a mobile device or computer

Related Stories

Mother-daughter duo gets same spine surgery from same Norton Leatherman Spine surgeon
Norton Leatherman Spine surgeon plays unintentional matchmaker for patients
Minimally invasive spine surgery sets woman on path to healthy living, starting a family
After looking in Boston, woman finds back pain relief in Louisville

Schedule an Appointment

Select an appointment date and time from available spots listed below.