Scoliosis and Spinal Service

Scoliosis and Spinal Service

About us – The Scoliosis and Spinal Service

Since late 2018 we are delighted to have a full multidisciplinary team available to support you and your child through their journey with us at CHI Temple Street. This new team aims to provide a holistic approach to the children and their families who attend our service. Our mission is to provide high-quality, safe orthopaedic care that is underpinned by clinical expertise, innovation, and research to enhance patient experiences and outcomes. We aim to help all children attain their maximal functional capacity in a family-centred multidisciplinary setting.

Team members

The team in CHI Temple Street is made up of six Orthopaedic Consultant Surgeons, a Spinal Nurse Specialist, Dietitian, Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist, Medical Social Worker and Clinical Psychologist. 

What is Scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine. For most children this is very mild and no treatment will be necessary. For a small number of children that need treatment an early diagnosis is important to prevent further problems from developing. The degree of scoliosis can increase during growth spurts. 

Types of scoliosis:

  • In the majority of cases the cause is unknown. This is called idiopathic scoliosis.
  • Abnormal development of the bones in the spine, which is present at birth, can cause scoliosis. This is called congenital scoliosis. 
  • Many conditions affecting the neuromuscular system (nerves and muscles) can cause scoliosis, for example cerebral palsy, neuromuscular disorder, etc. This is called neuromuscular scoliosis.

How do I access the service?

If you have any concerns about your child’s spine you can talk to your GP in the first instance. If required your GP will refer to the orthopaedic service at CHI Temple Street.

What can I  expect at the first outpatient appointment?

At the first outpatient appointment your child may require an X-Ray and you will meet some of the members of our orthopaedic service who specialise in diagnosis and treatment of spinal conditions.

Where do I go?

You appointment will be in the main outpatients department which is located across the laneway from the Emergency Department entrance. Please follow the link below for useful information on different ways of travelling to Temple Street Children’s University Hospital and parking options.

What are the treatment options?

The degree of the curve, the type of curve, and age of your child determines the type of treatment that will be recommended. Based on these findings your surgeon will discuss the treatment options that are best for your child. Treatment may include observation, bracing, surgery or a combination of all three.  It is important to remember that not all children will require surgery.

What if my child needs surgery?

The Scoliosis and Spinal Team need to make sure your child is ready for surgery and everyone knows the plan. You and your child will meet some of your team before surgery on a day we call Pre-assessment. Other members of the team might call you to talk about your child’s needs. 

Our Team Member Roles:


The surgeon will talk to you and your child about their scoliosis and different ways of managing it. If the surgeon decides that surgery is necessary for your child, you will meet more of the team. 


Before the surgery you and your child will meet an anaesthesiologist whose job is to make sure your child is ready for surgery. They will outline what your child’s surgery involves and the potential risks. If the risks are too great, surgery may not go ahead. 


The Spinal Nurse Specialist is the main link between the Scoliosis and Spinal Team, you and your child. Your Spinal Nurse Specialist will meet you at the pre-assessment day and after surgery. 


Good nutrition before the surgery will help your child’s recovery. The Dietitian will ask about your child’s diet. They will talk about any special requirements you have, such as tube feeding or a modified texture diet, and agree a diet for after surgery. 


The Physiotherapist will help your child to get back to your normal movement as soon as possible after surgery. This might involve your child sitting out in their wheelchair or going for a walk on the ward. The Physiotherapist might also give your child exercises for their chest to help with their breathing after surgery. 

Occupational Therapist (OT): 

The Occupational Therapist will review your child’s position in their wheelchair (if they have one) after their surgery. The OT can make small changes to your child’s wheelchair on the ward but will ask the local team to look at it again when you are home. The OT will also make sure that your home is appropriately set up for discharge and organise any extra equipment your child might need following surgery.

Clinical Psychologist: 

Clinical psychologists work with children who come to hospital to help them cope with all kinds of things (e.g. going for an operation, coping with pain, taking medicines). The psychologist can offer support before before/during/after a hospital stay. If you think it may be helpful for your child to talk to someone about their fears about hospitals or having bloods taken please get in touch. 

Medical Social Worker: 

The medical social worker knows that a child’s diagnosis, illness and hospital attendance may be stressful for your child and your family. They can offer practical and emotional support to help during this time. 

How do I cancel or rearrange an appointment?

Please let us know as soon as possible if you cannot attend your appointment by calling 01 878 4330. We will book you in at the next available opportunity.

Contact us: 

CHI, Temple Street has a dedicated phone for parents/ guardians who have a child on the waiting list for scoliosis related surgery. 

Please call Susan Mulrane, Orthopaedic Senior Service Coordinator – Spinal Disorders
Tel: (01) 892 1830
Line open: Monday to Friday, 9:00a.m. – 12:00p.m.


CHI Scoliosis Co-Design 10 Point Action Plan Update June 2019

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