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Physicians Update

 
Spring 2010

An Alternative to Bracing

03/01/2010
PhyUpdate-Spring2010 Vertebral Spapling
Vertebral body stapling can prevent
progressive scoliosis by guiding
spinal growth.

A minimally invasive growth-preserving procedure called vertebral body stapling (VBS) offers an alternative to bracing for some children with spinal deformities.

“VBS can provide an earlier surgical option to correct the spine deformity without the necessity for later spinal fusion surgery,” says UCLA pediatric orthopaedist Anthony Scaduto, M.D.

Another growth-preserving treatment that can eliminate the need for spinal fusion employs either growing rods or a vertical expandable prosthetic titanium rib (VEPTR) to correct chest deformities caused by fused ribs and improve lung function while offering a degree of correction to the curvature. Like the VBS procedure, the VEPTR controls curvatures in patients who are still growing and thus cannot undergo fusion surgery.

“To maximize successful outcomes and minimize pain and discomfort, growth-preserving treatments need to be implemented early on, before the spine deformity becomes more severe as development progresses,” Dr. Scaduto explains.





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