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Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital Performs First ApiFix® Procedure in Louisiana

February 25, 2022

Operation Provides Alternative to Bracing and Spinal Fusion for Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis

Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital is the first location in Louisiana to perform a new spinal surgery treating adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS). Called the ApiFix procedure, the surgery is a less invasive, motion-preserving option for achieving spinal curve correction.

Drs. John Faust, Brad Culotta, and Ryan P. Farmer, orthopedic surgeons with Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health, collaborated on the new spinal surgery on February 22. The ApiFix procedure provides an alternative to both bracing and spinal fusion for select AIS patients, instead inserting an internal brace that both preserves motion and allows for patient growth via a self-adjusting rod.

Performed using a posterior approach familiar to pediatric orthopedic surgeons and requiring only three anchor points on one side of the spine, the procedure usually takes less than two hours, with patients typically staying in the hospital 1-2 days after the procedure.

“Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health is at the forefront of innovative care, and I’m excited to be able to offer the ApiFix procedure to our patients,” said Faust, MD, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon with Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health. “The procedure is a real breakthrough in the treatment of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, offering a less-invasive option with more spinal motion control compared to traditional spinal fusion."

Scoliosis is a side-to-side curve of the spine greater than 10 degrees. AIS, the most common type of scoliosis, occurs in late childhood or adolescence. Its cause is unknown. In many cases, AIS curves are stable; however, in some cases, the curve can continue to progress over time. For curves that are progressing, treatment options could include bracing or surgery, such as a spinal fusion. The ApiFix procedure was developed to provide a viable alternative to both bracing and fusion for select patients.

“This procedure is a game-changer for our children and adolescents,” said Trey Dunbar, MD, president of Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health. “We take great pride in the fact that we’re able to bring to Louisiana some of the most ground-breaking innovation when it comes to medicine and treatment. With surgeons like Drs. Faust, Culotta and Farmer on our team, the sky is the limit to what we can accomplish as a health system.”

To learn more about the ApiFix procedure please visit


About Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health

Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health is a collaborative, coordinated, and child-focused health network that provides patients with more access to physicians and providers specifically trained to care for children. The network includes hospital-based services at the main campus of Our Lady of the Lake Children's Hospital in Baton Rouge, as well as St. Francis Pediatrics in Monroe, Our Lady of Lourdes Women's and Children's Hospital in Lafayette and Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health Bogalusa. It also connects pediatricians, pediatric specialists and other health providers across our state with clinics in the Baton Rouge region, Hammond, Lake Charles, Lafayette and Monroe. This model of coordinated pediatric healthcare extends vital resources into more communities across Louisiana so families have greater access to expertise close to home. For more information, visit

Media Contact

Chrislyn Maher
Senior Director, Marketing & Communications
Our Lady of the Lake Health



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