Vertebral Body Tethering (VBT) and Scoliosis Tethering in California
Surgery is a last resort solution for interrupting the progression of scoliosis curvatures. Adolescent patients who are still growing can benefit from vertebral body tethering (VBT) and scoliosis tethering. This is especially true when non-surgical responses haven’t successfully stopped curvature progression.
While spinal fusion is the traditional response, this method tends to reduce spinal mobility. With VBT, patients retain flexibility.
Materially less invasive than other options, VBT regulates the bone’s growth during adolescent growth spurts. This is when adolescent patients generally see the curvature progress precipitously.
It’s crucial to mention that VBT can also be a tremendous help to patients who are either experiencing minor skeletal growth or none (depending primarily on the flexibility of the patient’s spine).
Let’s read more about vertebral body tethering (VBT) and scoliosis tethering in California.
Regulating Bone Growth
The VBT approach was developed following the Hueter-Volkmann principle, which determines that bone which is under pressure grows more slowly, becoming denser and more resilient as it keeps growing.
This principle is employed in surgically addressing imbalance occasioned by the scoliosis curve. As the curvature progresses, the interior bone implicated grows more slowly than the exterior bone. This is what produces a wedge vertebral deformity.
VBT has now been identified as the most effective surgical intervention for scoliosis patients and enjoys outcomes far superior to spinal fusion responses. That’s mostly due to VBT’s proven advantage of maintaining flexibility in the spine, while not impeding normal growth from continuing. There’s also the advantage of progressive curve correction over time.
As we’ve already mentioned, this surgery is highly effective for adolescent patients who are still growing and who are over 10 years of age. It’s also important to note that VBT can be employed to address curves of between 40 and 70 degrees and sometimes, to treat younger children and patients no longer growing, who don’t wish to proceed with spinal fusion.
A Smarter Approach
Vertebral body tethering demands 1 or 2 tiny incisions and employs imaging technology to guide the surgeon’s hands. This aspect alone reduces complications associated with all kinds of surgery, especially infection.
Titanium screws are then introduced. These are coated with a material analogous to the composition of human bone, which helps it integrate with implicated vertebrae.
Next, a flexible cord rod is inserted, threaded through the screws and tightened to start the process of addressing the scoliosis curve.
The patient may return home in 3- 5 days. In 6 weeks, sports participation is permitted and even encouraged.
In those six weeks, the titanium screws will have melded with the vertebrae, creating a strong foundation for curve mitigation.
Scoliosis & Spine Associates
Our clinic lead Dr. Baron Lonner is an internationally acclaimed, award-winning expert in the field of scoliosis research, innovation and surgery. With 2 decades experience with VBT interventions, he’s a leader in vertebral body tethering (VBT) and scoliosis tethering in California.
We invite you to book an appointment to talk about how this groundbreaking surgery can make life better for your child living with scoliosis.