Recent Publication on Anterior Vertebral Body Tethering (AVBT) Compared with Posterior Spinal Fusion for Major Thoracic Curves: A Retrospective Comparison by the Harms Study Group

Study Cohort: Thoracic Idiopathic Scoliosis patients who underwent Anterior Vertebral Body Tethering (AVBT) with minimum 2-year follow-up after surgery and propensity matched to Posterior Spinal Fusion (PSF) patients from Harms Study Group multicenter database. 237 AVBT patients (thoracic curve tethered only) vs. 237 PSF patients Propensity matched using: age, preoperative thoracic curve magnitude, sex, and […]

Talking Points about Thoracic Vertebral Body Tethering vs. ApiFix

Vertebral Body Tethering (VBT) and the ApiFix device are procedures which have garnered a lot of attention from surgeons, patients and families. Below is a list of talking points which should be known about VBT and ApiFix so there can be informative, educated, transparent discussions about VBT and ApiFix, when compared to the other commonly-performed […]

Published study in Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery: Trunk Motion of Vertebral Body Tethering vs. Posterior Spinal Fusion

This was a study of trunk (back) motion from the Philadelphia Shriners hospital by a previous spine fellow from Washington University, Dr. Joshua Pahys.  This elegant study used a motion analysis lab to quantify back motion between two groups of patients: 1) 65 patients having undergone Vertebral Body Tethering (VBT), and 2) 47 patients who […]

Talking Points between Surgeon and Patient/Family about Thoracic Vertebral Body Tethering vs. Thoracic Posterior Spinal Fusion

Vertebral Body Tethering (VBT) is a procedure which has garnered a lot of attention from surgeons, patients and families.  Below is a list of talking points which should be known about VBT so there can be informative, educated, transparent discussions about VBT, when compared to the other commonly-performed procedure Posterior Spinal Fusions.  Discussions on these […]

Another new study on Vertebral Body Tethering (VBT)

This study comes from the San Diego group, who have a long, cautious experience with VBT. 23 patients whose mean age at surgery was 12.2 +/- 1.6 years Preoperatively: Mean curve 53 +/- 8 degrees All were Risser 0-1, Sanders 2-3 at surgery Minimum follow-up after surgery of 2 years, with mean follow-up of 3.4 […]

Blog Post on the latest, hot-off-the-presses publication on Vertebral Body Tethering

  Some important points of this paper: 1.     1.  Surgeries done 2011-2015, prior to FDA approval 2.     2.  FDA primarily interested in device safety, secondarily on efficacy 3.    3.   Inclusion criteria: a. Only include Type 1A and 1B curve patterns, which means only main thoracic curves. b. There were NO curve patterns with structural […]

Vertebral Body Tether of Lumbar Scoliosis Curves 

Over the last 15 years there has been an increasing interest from patients and families in non-fusion solutions for scoliosis.  Vertebral Body Stapling (VBS) was the first non-fusion technique reported for treatment of idiopathic scoliosis, in the 1950s.  Due to the lack of advance implant technology the technique disappeared for 40+ years, but re-appeared in […]

Vertebral Body Tethering Part 5

In earlier posts VBT has been extensively detailed.  One question that commonly is asked during discussion of VBT with patients and caregivers is: “What are the long-term issues with VBT?” The simplistic answer is: “We don’t know”. One layer to this question is what happens to the actual tether?  If we look at other implant […]

Vertebral Body Tethering Part 4

  Primum non nocere or “do no harm” is a basic tenet of medicine.  This is why for surgical procedures, such as Vertebral Body Tethering or VBT, safety is the pre-eminent concern, even more so than its efficacy or how well it works.  If a surgical procedure is safe (infrequent, minor complications, with no significant […]

Vertebral Body Tethering for Scoliosis Part 3

  In Medicine, and in particular the area of spine deformity, the development of new treatments and technologies which can demonstrate improved outcomes, lower frequencies of complications, and/or faster recovery can create a “buzz” and enthusiasm depending on its potential of improvement.  Physicians typically see these innovations earlier than the general public at medical meetings […]

Vertebral Body Tethering Part 2

As mentioned in the last blog there is a paucity of information/evidence on the use of VBT in skeletally-immature patients with scoliosis.  Animal studies have demonstrated VBTs can modulate spinal growth with few changes to the intervertebral disc or growth plates.  Early, short-term, single institution series have been encouraging with few reported serious complications.  More […]

Vertebral Body Tethering for Scoliosis

Since the first description of spinal fusions for the treatment of scoliosis over 100 years ago, there have been significant advancements in the surgical technique, which have led to improved fusion rates, lower complication frequency, greater three-dimensional correction of the deformity and more rapid postoperative recovery.  However, spine fusions mean fewer motion segments (less spine […]