Sarah M. and Charles E. Seay/Martha and Pat Beard Center for Excellence in Spine Research
As a leading orthopedic facility, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children began researching treatment methods for spinal disorders in the 1970s. Dr. Tony Herring and the orthopedic staff began an aggressive program to develop new and innovative procedures and implant systems for treating scoliosis and other spinal conditions.
Directed by Dr. Daniel Sucato, the Sarah M. and Charles E. Seay/Martha and Pat Beard Center for Excellence in Spine Research, provides a forum for experts from many disciplines to collaborate on specific challenges in the treatment of spinal deformities in children.
The center focuses on six main areas of research:
New spinal system implant design and modification
Understanding spinal deformity and spinal growth
Outcome studies following operative and nonoperative treatment
Defining adverse outcomes and complications
Developing strategies for more efficient and cost effective treatment
The center's research focuses on determining the cause of scoliosis, identifying scoliosis earlier, better understanding the factors that lead to curve progression, developing better ways to prevent curve progression and improving surgical treatments while avoiding complications.
Through the years, TSRHC has been at the forefront of research, education and patient care in the field of spinal disorders. The center for excellence helped create new, less-invasive treatment methods for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, the most common type of scoliosis affecting teenagers.
In April 2007, researchers at TSRHC identified the first gene - CHD7 - associated with idiopathic scoliosis. This gene discovery was the result of a 10-year study conducted at the center for excellence and is outlined in the May 2007 issue of the American Journal of Human Genetics. In 2011, Dr. Wise and TSRHC's Molecular Genetics research team identified two additional genes - CHL1 and DSCAM - that give new insight into the condition. These gene discoveries lay the groundwork for future research and may lead to improved prevention and treatment methods.
With more than 100 published abstracts and presentations and 25 active research projects, the center is a leader in the field of scoliosis research.
TSRH® Spinal Systems
In 2005, TSRHC introduced the TSRH® SILO™ 5.5 Spinal System, a modified design of the TSRH® Spinal System developed in the 1980s, which allows for shorter surgery and uses lower profile implants for patient comfort. This versatile and easy-to-use system will improve the surgical care of patients.
Next Scoliosis Challenge
Today, early onset scoliosis offers the center for excellence the challenge of finding treatment methods for scoliosis patients ages 3-6. Scoliosis in young patients can adversely affect the growth of the child, lung function and the progression of the scoliosis. Methods to limit the progression of the scoliosis while allowing the patient to grow and develop will be investigated.
Complex Spinal Deformity
Spinal deformity comes in many forms and levels of severity. As a tertiary care center, TSRHC has many patients with severe spinal deformity referred here for definitive treatment. These patients often have had previous surgery and pose challenges to obtain and maintain good deformity correction while avoiding severe complications. Through both basic science and clinical research we strive to understand the optimal treatment for these complex problems and continue to develop ways to most effective treat these patients.
For More Information
Please call the Research department at (214) 559-7877 or (800) 421-1121, ext. 7877.