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:

  • Basic science
  • 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 helped create new, less-invasive treatment methods for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, the most common type of scoliosis affecting teenagers.

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 view a PDF of information on Sarah M. and Charles E. Seay/Martha and Pat Beard Center for Excellence in Spine Research or call the Research department at 214-559-7877 or 800-421-1121, ext. 7877.