In 1987, surgeons at the CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Children's Hospital in San Antonio were approached by a family with a six month old child who was missing ribs on one side of his chest and had severe scoliosis. The child was also relying on a ventilator to help him breathe. Drs. Robert M. Campbell and Melvin Smith, surgeons at the hospital, knew something had to be done in order to save this child's life. They created a implant to stabilize and enlarge the chest and make room for the infant's developing lungs. The child thrived and was able to breathe on his own.
Many children are born with malformations of the spinal column and chest wall that produce severe, disabling deformities. The cause of these malformations remains unknown, but will often result in a shortened, crooked spine and impact a child’s ability to breathe, sit, and walk. The Chest Wall and Spine Deformity Research Foundation, founded in 2005, was created with the specific goal of encouraging and supporting research related to severe spinal deformity in the growing child.
A team of researchers associated with major medical institutions throughout the world have been working together to find answers to many of these questions and improve care for these children. Progress is being made through these efforts. These physicians and nurses have donated their time and efforts to this research.
In 2013, the Chest Wall and Spine Deformity Research Foundation changed it's name to the Children's Spine Foundation. The Children's Spine Foundation works towards the same mission. Today our research has improved the care of so many children, making their future brighter than it has been in the past. However, there remain many unanswered questions. Our Foundation is dedicated to continuing this work.