Atlantic Health System Announces New Scoliosis Center

The Advanced Spine Center of New Jersey would like to extend a warm welcome to a new partner in the world of spine health: The Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center at Atlantic Orthopedic Institute. With its December 2017 opening in Morristown, New Jersey, this innovative center is a state-of-the-art diagnostic and surgical facility. This sophisticated clinic is fully equipped to diagnose and treat a vast range of spinal deformities, including:

  • Kyphosis
  • Lordosis
  • Scheuermann’s Disease
  • Flatback Syndrome
  • Postsurgical Deformities
  • Complex or Multilevel Spinal Deformities

Additionally, a key focus of the center’s work will involve treating individuals with Adult or Pediatric Scoliosis.

What is scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a spinal deformity that is generally characterized by an abnormal growth or curvature of the spine. In most scoliosis cases, instead of the spine developing a gentle forward and backward curvature, the spine acquires a side-to-side bend. This condition most commonly emerges in early adolescence or the teenage years. However, scoliosis can also affect infants or adults. In fact, your doctor may be able to detect certain types of scoliosis in utero, using ultrasound technology. In contrast, adult-onset scoliosis usually lacks a genetic or predictive component. This condition is typically linked with spinal disorders or injuries—such as osteoarthritis or spondylolisthesis—that emerge in older age.

According to the National Scoliosis Foundation, approximately 2-3% of the U.S. population, or over 7 million people, experience scoliosis. This accounts for over 600,000 trips to a physician’s office, 30,000 brace fittings, and 38,000 spinal fusions every year (National Scoliosis Foundation, 2007).

Why are spinal deformities so serious?

Once diagnosed, scoliosis and other spinal deformities can lead to a number of disruptive or painful symptoms. Easily distinguished examples may include visible asymmetries in shoulder or hip height. However, an irregular bend of the spine can also produce troubling—and sometimes incapacitating—internal complications. An extreme bend can hinder an individual’s ability to complete everyday tasks such as walking or driving. Debilitating pain can emerge as the spine pinches adjacent nerves and compresses nearby organs. In fact, scoliosis and other severe spinal deformities can even lead to life-threatening disruption of the heart and lungs.

Furthermore, it important to know that most spinal deformities are progressive, or likely to worsen over time. What begins as a barely noticeable change in your child’s spine can develop into an incapacitating condition by adulthood. If you have concerns about your spinal curvature—or your child’s—address this problem as soon as possible. Early and regular monitoring by a qualified professional is crucial in halting the advance of spinal deformities. Fortunately, recent innovations in scoliosis treatment are astounding. And, the fellowship-trained team at the Morristown Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center possesses the extended training and expertise to resolve your condition.

A state-of-the-art facility is changing the game in Morristown, NJ

As Megan Wood of Becker’s Spine Review notes, the new Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center “specialize[s] in growth preservation techniques; genetic testing for curve progression predictions; spinal fusions; and more.” These are just a fraction of the sophisticated techniques that you can expect to encounter at this advanced treatment center.

Growth Preservation Techniques: Growth preservation techniques are surgical practices that help to straighten the spine while allowing for normal growth. For children and adolescents experiencing moderate to extreme curvature, these procedures can help address spinal deformity while preserving healthy growth and spinal movement. Many of these surgeries use specialized hardware that retains the ability to expand as the spine grows.

Genetic Testing: Genetic testing is another state-of-the-art technique used to treat scoliosis. Using DNA collection and analysis, clinicians can determine the probability that your child’s condition will progress. With aid from the minimally invasive ScoliScore™ system, clinicians can painlessly collect saliva to analyze 53 genetic markers for scoliosis progression. This system boasts a 99% accuracy rate for determining the severity of your child’s condition. Moreover, this knowledge can drive the direction of your child’s treatment plan and prevent debilitating complications before they can arise.

Sophisticated surgical imaging technology yields unprecedented results

In addition, the board certified surgeons at the Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center use the O-arm® Intra-operative Imaging System and the StealthStation® Surgical Navigation System. As the Atlantic Health System explains in a recent press release, this “new technology… combines intra-operative CT imaging and 3-D navigation to allow for accurate and safe instrumentation placement during spinal deformity surgery.” These advances in medical technology allow for surgical precision that was once unattainable.

The O-arm® Intraoperative Imaging System is an industry-changing machine that is shaped like a giant ring.  Your surgeon can use the imaging device during surgery, gliding the machine easily into position to encircle the patient on all sides. Furthermore, the device can record in real time both 2D and 3D videos of the spine during the operation.  As the Advanced Spine Center’s Dr. Lowenstein explains in Morristown Patch:

“For patients dealing with scoliosis and complex spinal deformity, this technology is critical to allow for safe placement of our instrumentation. This allows us to maximally correct our patients’ spinal deformities which greatly improves their overall clinical outcomes.”

If you or a loved one is worrying about their spine, the Morristown Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center can answer your questions. Our knowledgeable and compassionate colleagues will evaluate your situation and help you find treatments that ensure your health and vitality. For more information, contact one of our patient advocates at (973) 538-0900.