Mayo Clinic's approach

Team approach

At Mayo Clinic, doctors trained in treating children who have brain, spine and musculoskeletal disorders (pediatric orthopedic surgeons, pediatric neurosurgeons and pediatric neurologists), doctors trained in physical medicine and rehabilitation, and doctors trained in other medical conditions in children (pediatrics) work together to 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.

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 2022–2023 "Best Children's Hospitals" rankings.

Expertise and rankings

Each year, Mayo Clinic doctors perform more than 90 pediatric cervical spine surgeries.

  • Pediatric experts. Mayo Clinic's pediatric experts provide the highest quality care for children who have cervical spine disorders. Your child will receive care from an experienced multispecialty team that includes specialists from pediatric neurosurgery, pediatric neurology, pediatric orthopedic surgery, pediatric rehabilitation and other areas. Children who need hospital care receive treatment at Mayo Eugenio Litta Children's Hospital, which is consistently recognized as one of the best children's hospitals in the nation.
  • Research. Mayo Clinic researchers conduct studies to determine the most appropriate evaluation and treatment approaches for pediatric cervical spine abnormalities. People undergoing occipitocervical and cervical spine surgery at Mayo Clinic have the opportunity to volunteer for research in multicenter registries of the Pediatric Craniocervical Society and Children's Spine Foundation.
  • Nationally recognized expertise. Mayo Clinic researchers are members of the Pediatric Cervical Spine Interest Group and the Pediatric Craniocervical Society. These national groups coordinate data related to pediatric spinal disease to learn more about these conditions and determine how to treat these conditions.

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

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

Jan. 20, 2022
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  2. Caviness AC. Evaluation of cervical spine injuries in children and adolescents. Accessed Oct. 7, 2019.
  3. Madura CJ, et al. Classification and management of pediatric subaxial cervical spine injuries. Neurosurgery Clinics of North America. 2017;28:91.
  4. Bhatia NN. Long-term outcomes and complications following anterior and posterior cervical spine surgery. Seminars in Spine Surgery. 2009;21:177.
  5. Preparing for surgery. American Society of Anesthesiologists. Accessed Oct. 7, 2019.
  6. Braswell Pickering EA. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic. Nov. 2, 2021.
  7. Larson AN (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic. Nov. 4, 2021.
  8. Luo TD, et al. Accuracy of pedicle screw placement in children 10 years or younger using navigation and intraoperative CT. Clinical Spine Surgery. 2016;29:E135.
  9. Daniels DJ, et al. High occurrence of head and spine injuries in the pediatric population following motocross accidents. Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics. 2015;15:261.
  10. 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.
  11. Stans AA, et al. Posterior cervical arthrodesis in children. In: The Management of Disorders of the Child's Cervical Spine. Springer; 2018.
  12. 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.
  13. Helenius IJ, et al. Os odontoideum in children: treatment outcomes and neurological risk factors. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, American Volume. 2019; doi: 10.2106/JBJS.19.00314.
  14. Baky FJ, et al. Intraoperative computed tomography-guided navigation for pediatric spine patients reduced return to operating room for screw malposition compared with freehand/fluoroscopic techniques. Spine Deformity. 2019; doi: 10.1016/j.jspd.2018.11.012.
  15. Larson AN, et al. Radiation in spine deformity: state-of-the-art reviews. Spine Deformity. 2019; doi: 10.1016/j.jspd.2019.01.003.


Products & Services

Pediatric cervical spine surgery