Adolescent scoliosis is a spine condition that affects children who are still growing into their bodies. Since this is the age when they are most active, immediate treatment for scoliosis is important. For a safe option that provides fewer risks, Vertebral Body Tethering (VBT) might be the best treatment for your kid.
In this article, we will discuss everything to expect after a Vertebral Body Tethering surgery, including the kind of results to expect, aftercare treatment, and long-term outlook.
Correcting Idiopathic Scoliosis with VBT
Vertebral Body Tethering (or VBT) is a new procedure that was recently approved by the FDA as an effective treatment for idiopathic scoliosis. The idea behind VBT is based on the Hueter-Volkmann Law that suggests there are compressive forces that hinder the spine from developing normally. It also states that mechanical forces can help the spine achieve normal vertical growth.
With VBT, a tether will be placed on one side of the spine and secured using screws. The cord will slow down the growth on one side of the vertebrae so that the other can catch up. Since this procedure promotes healthy spine growth without requiring a fusion of the affected parts, the patient can experience a wider range of motion as they recover.
Recovering After a VBT Procedure
The recovery time for vertebral body tethering is significantly shorter than spinal fusion surgery. Patients can return home three to five days after the surgery, depending on the surgeon’s recommendation.
Upon returning home, patients are encouraged to carry out daily activities such as climbing the stairs, walking short distances, and performing other house chores. Patients can also go back to school a few weeks after the surgery.
What Kind of Results Can You Expect?
By relieving the compression on one side of the vertebrae, the patient’s spine will develop healthily until they reach skeletal maturity. Aside from correcting the spine, the procedure is also expected to at least prevent the spine curve from worsening.
Patients who opt for VBT are also more flexible than other scoliosis patients who went through spinal fusion surgery. They typically return to their normal physical activities within a few weeks after the operation.
How Should You Take Care of Yourself After VBT?
In most cases, patients don’t need a back brace or physical therapy after a vertebral body tethering surgery. But for patients who are advised to undergo physical therapy to assist in their quick recovery, appointments typically start two weeks after the surgery.
Patients are also required to return to the clinic every few weeks so that the surgeon can observe the treatment’s progress. It helps them monitor whether the surgery was successful or if the spine curve worsens. Visiting the clinic is also a good opportunity for the patient to inform the doctor about any pain or discomfort they are experiencing near the treatment site.
What’s the Long-Term Outlook for VBT Patients?
If the VBT procedure was successful during their adolescence, patients won’t need to worry about a possible progression of the spine curve after reaching skeletal maturity. Unless the tether snapped due to gradual wear and tear, the instruments installed in the spine won’t require replacement or removal even several years after the treatment.
Consult with Spine Specialist from Scoliosis Associates
Is your child diagnosed with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis? At Scoliosis Associates, our experienced staff can offer different treatments to help the patient recover from the spine condition quicker. Our spine specialists utilize the latest tools and techniques to ensure that each treatment plan is the best option for our clients.
Learn more about Vertebral Body Tethering and other AIS treatments by visiting our site now. You can also call us at (212) 241 – 8947 to book a consultation with our experts.