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Vertebral Body Tethering (VBT) Exhibits Promising Results in the Treatment of Scoliosis, Study Suggests

Dec, 2020 - By WMR

Vertebral Body Tethering (VBT) Exhibits Promising Results in the Treatment of Scoliosis, Study Suggests

According to a new research study by the researchers of University of Missouri School of Medicine and MU Health Care have suggested that vertebral body tethering (VBT), which is an alternative to posterior spinal fusion PSF, a gold standard treatment for patients with spinal deformity, exhibits potential for the treatment for a specific group of scoliosis patients.

Scoliosis is considered as most common spinal deformity that affects pediatric patients. Moreover, posterior spinal fusion (PSF) is the gold standard treatment for patients with spinal curves exceeding 45 degrees, however there are certain side effects associated with it such as persistent pain, loss of spinal mobility, and adjacent segment disc disease. Furthermore, research study claims over 90% of patients avoided mobility-limiting spinal fusion procedure.

Researchers reported that VBT is an effective alternative to PSF for progressive scoliosis patients. In VBT treatment screws are attached to the thoracic or lumbar vertebra in a minimally invasive manner in the curved area of the spine. Moreover, a polyethylene cord connects the screws and tension straightens the spine, improving the scoliosis.

In this research study researchers piloted a retrospective review considering 29 consecutive patients with 2-5 year follow-ups. Researchers observed that there were successful outcomes for the patients with a curve of less than 30 degrees, who reached skeletally maturity and did not underwent PSF. Moreover, recent follow up reported that 27 patients reached skeletal maturity and achieved 74% clinical success.

Hoernschemeyer stated, “Despite our patient population being slightly more mature at the time of surgery than when compared to previous studies, we found a higher success rate and a lower revision rate," Hoernschemeyer said. Our overall revision rate was 21% and a PSF was avoided in 93% of patients, indicating that VBT may be a reliable treatment option for adolescent scoliosis.”

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