Children's Hospital Colorado
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The Spina Bifida and Spinal Cord Injury Clinic at Children’s Hospital Colorado provides complete evaluation and individualized treatment for children, adolescents and young adults with spinal cord injuries caused by accidents or illness as well as congenital (present at birth) conditions such as spina bifida.

When you come to Children’s Colorado, your child receives specialized care for their unique needs. Our multidisciplinary team includes experts in neurosurgery, rehabilitation, orthopedics and more, who provide coordinated care for you child. Our interdisciplinary approach allows us to focus on getting your child as healthy as possible so they can participate in as many activities as possible, while also preventing or treating secondary conditions.

Spinal conditions we treat

Our Spina Bifida and Spinal Cord Injury Clinic treats a variety of spinal conditions, including:

  • Spina bifida
    • Myelomeningocele
    • Other forms of spina bifida, including symptomatic spina bifida occulta, meningocele, spinal lipomas and lipomeningocele
  • Symptomatic tethered spinal cord
  • Sacral agenesis (a congenital malformation of the lower spine)
  • Spinal cord injuries present at birth
  • Spinal cord injuries resulting from trauma or infection (illnesses such as transverse myelitis)

Services for children with spina bifida or spinal cord injuries

Our multidisciplinary team of experts provides comprehensive evaluation and individualized treatment plans. Your child’s care team may include clinical nurse coordinators and pediatric specialists in:

We may use tests and imaging to diagnose your child and develop a treatment plan, including:

What to expect from your visit

During your visit to the Spina Bifida and Spinal Cord Injury Clinic, you’ll meet with several members of our team. A typical visit takes 4 to 5 hours, so we recommend bringing toys, books and snacks for your child.

Each provider will examine your child and then discuss the results and provide recommendations. At the end of your visit, our clinical nurse coordinator will review the recommendations and provide you with a detailed care plan. We’ll also send the care plan and treatment recommendations to your child’s primary care doctor and refer you to any subspecialists, if necessary.

Please bring medical records detailing previous medical care and digital records of any prior imaging, such as X-rays, MRIs or ultrasounds.

Spina bifida and spinal cord injury education

The Spina Bifida and Spinal Cord Injury Clinic educates and trains the next generation of spinal cord doctors. These residents and fellows are here to learn from our experts about caring for kids with spinal injuries and conditions and participate in the research that advances the field. They are always under the supervision and guidance of our experts. Of course, your family comes first, and you can request that these doctors not be involved in your care if that feels most comfortable for your family.

Spina bifida and spinal cord injury research

We’re always investigating new ways to care for children with spina bifida and spinal cord injuries. We may ask for your help in research projects that can improve the quality of life for our patients and other kids like them. We always ask your permission before including you in any research project.

Why choose Children's Colorado for spina bifida and spinal cord injury treatment?

The Spina Bifida and Spinal Cord Injury Clinic at Children's Colorado provides the most advanced care in the region for children with spina bifida, related neural tube conditions and spinal cord injuries.

Caring for children with complex spinal conditions requires a specialized multidisciplinary team that can evaluated your child’s specific needs and develop a coordinated care plan just for them. Our approach goes beyond focusing on the physical aspect of your child’s condition by also addressing concerns that fall outside of the medical domain, such as school readiness and learning challenges, participation in sports, peer and family relationships and emotional well-being.

Since these conditions are often lifelong, it’s important for kids to have a team of care providers who understand how their diagnosis will impact them and their families as they age. We have special expertise in planning for transitional periods such as starting kindergarten, joining your first sports team, making new friends, going to prom or leaving for college. We teach your child the skills they need to be independent as they grow and work closely with each family to design an appropriate, individualized adult transition plan.

Contact us

  • Appointment scheduling: 720-777-2806
  • Program coordinator (phone): 720-777-2806
  • Program coordinator (fax): 720-777-7220

Get to know our pediatric experts.

Kim Sawyer, PNP

Kim Sawyer, PNP

Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Pam Wilson, MD

Pam Wilson, MD

Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation - Pediatric, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation