Mayo Clinic's approach

Team approach

Pediatric experts. Mayo Clinic's pediatric experts provide the highest quality care for children who have cervical spine conditions. Your child receives care from an experienced multispecialty team that includes specialists from pediatric neurosurgery, pediatric neurology, pediatric orthopedic surgery, pediatric rehabilitation and other areas. Together they provide the most appropriate treatment for your child — before and after surgery. Specialized nursing and child life specialists help ensure care and education is targeted to your child's development and understanding.

Advanced technology

Mayo Clinic surgeons use the latest techniques for cervical spine surgery, including minimally invasive approaches, 3D printed models, navigation and low-dose imaging during surgery to guide the procedure.

Mayo Clinic is consistently recognized by external organizations for providing outstanding patient care. These endorsements reinforce our commitment to provide expert, compassionate care to both children and adults.

Expertise and rankings

Each year, Mayo Clinic surgeons perform around 100 pediatric cervical spine surgeries.

  • Pediatric experts. Mayo Clinic's pediatric experts provide the highest quality care for children who have cervical spine conditions. Your child receives care from an experienced multispecialty team that includes specialists from pediatric neurosurgery, pediatric neurology, pediatric orthopedic surgery, pediatric anesthesiology, pediatric pain management, pediatric rehabilitation and other areas. Children who need hospital care receive treatment at Mayo Eugenio Litta Children's Hospital, which includes a dedicated pediatric intensive care unit (PICU), operating room suite, and play areas for children and siblings.
  • Research. Mayo Clinic researchers conduct studies to determine the most appropriate evaluation and treatment approaches for pediatric cervical spine conditions. People undergoing occipitocervical and cervical spine surgery at Mayo Clinic have the opportunity to participate in multicenter registries of the Pediatric Craniocervical Society and Pediatric Spine Foundation.
  • Nationally recognized expertise. Mayo Clinic researchers are principal members of the Pediatric Spine Foundation and the Pediatric Craniocervical Society. These national groups coordinate data related to pediatric cervical spinal disease to learn more about these conditions and determine how to best treat them.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, Mayo Clinic in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona, and Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, are ranked among the Best Hospitals for neurology and neurosurgery and for orthopedics by U.S. News & World Report. Mayo Clinic Children's Center in Rochester is ranked the No. 1 hospital in Minnesota, and the five-state region of Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin, according to U.S. News & World Report's 2023-2024 "Best Children's Hospitals" rankings.

Learn more about Mayo Clinic's Orthopedic Surgery, Neurosurgery and Neurology departments' expertise and rankings.

Mayo Clinic Children's Center

Highly skilled pediatric experts diagnose and treat all types of conditions in children. As a team, we work together to find answers, set goals and develop a treatment plan tailored to your child's needs.

Learn more about the Children's Center.

Locations, travel and lodging

Mayo Clinic has major campuses in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona; Jacksonville, Florida; and Rochester, Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic Health System has dozens of locations in several states.

For more information on visiting Mayo Clinic, choose your location below:

Costs and insurance

Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people.

In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

Learn more about appointments at Mayo Clinic.

Please contact your insurance company to verify medical coverage and to obtain any needed authorization prior to your visit. Often, your insurer's customer service number is printed on the back of your insurance card.

More information about billing and insurance:

Mayo Clinic in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota

Mayo Clinic Health System

Clinical trials

Explore Mayo Clinic studies of tests and procedures to help prevent, detect, treat or manage conditions.

Jan. 24, 2024
  1. Loscalzo J, et al., eds. Back and neck pain. In: Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 21st ed. McGraw Hill; 2022. Accessed Oct. 26, 2023.
  2. Leonard JC. Evaluation and acute management of cervical spine injuries in children and adolescents. Accessed Oct. 26, 2023.
  3. An S, et al. Pediatric spine trauma. Journal of Korean Neurosurgical Society. 2022; doi:10.3340/jkns.2021.0282.
  4. Ami TR. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic. Sept. 4, 2023.
  5. Preparing for surgery: Kids' checklist. American Society of Anesthesiologists. Accessed Oct. 26, 2023.
  6. Steinmetz MP, et al., eds. Benzel's Spine Surgery: Techniques, Complication Avoidance, and Management. 5th ed. Elsevier; 2022. Accessed Oct. Nov. 3, 2023.
  7. Azar FM, et al. Pediatric cervical spine. In: Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 14th ed. Elsevier; 2021. Accessed Oct. 26, 2023.
  8. Winn HR, ed. Surgical management of the pediatric subaxial cervical spine. In: Youmans and Winn Neurological Surgery. 8th ed. Elsevier; 2023. Accessed Oct. 26, 2023.
  9. Alexiades NG, et al. Pediatric spine trauma: A brief review. Neurosurgery. 2020; doi:10.1093/neuros/nyaa119.
  10. Garfin SR, et al., eds. Congenital anomalies of the cervical spine. In: Rothman-Simeone and Herkowitz's the Spine. 7th ed. Elsevier; 2018. Accessed Nov. 6, 2023.
  11. Saarinen AJ, et al. Results of conservative and surgical management in children with idiopathic and nonidiopathic Os Odontoideum. World Neurosurgery. 2021; doi:10.1016/j.wneu.2020.12.043.
  12. Poorman GW, et al. Traumatic fracture of the pediatric cervical spine: Etiology, epidemiology, concurrent injuries, and an analysis of perioperative outcomes using the Kids' Inpatient Database. International Journal of Spine Surgery. 2019; doi:10.14444/6009.
  13. Helenius IJ, et al. Os odontoideum in children: Treatment outcomes and neurological risk factors. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. 2019; doi:10.2106/JBJS.19.00314.
  14. AskMayoExpert. Pediatric preoperative considerations. Mayo Clinic; 2023.
  15. Luo TD, et al. Accuracy of pedicle screw placement in children 10 years or younger using navigation and intraoperative CT. Clinical Spine Surgery. 2016; doi:10.1097/BSD.0000000000000230.
  16. Goldstein HE, et al. Growth and alignment of the pediatric subaxial cervical spine following rigid instrumentation and fusion: A multicenter study of the Pediatric Craniocervical Society. Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics. 2018; doi:10.3171/2018.1.PEDS17551.
  17. Gigliotti MJ, et al. Cervical pediatric spine trauma managed with open spinal fixation and instrumentation and a review of the literature. Cureus. 2021; doi:10.7759/cureus.14004.
  18. Who we are. Pediatric Spine Foundation. Accessed Nov. 7, 2023.
  19. Larson AN (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic. Nov. 7, 2023.


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Pediatric cervical spine surgery