Mount Sinai surgeons have performed the first-ever spinal tethering surgery in New York City to correct idiopathic scoliosis—a sideways curvature in the spine—in children and adolescents. The procedure performed by Baron S. Lonner, MD, Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, and Pediatrics, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and Chief of Minimally Invasive Scoliosis Surgery, Mount Sinai Health System, uses the latest technology that was recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The procedure, a minimally invasive approach known as vertebral body tethering scoliosis surgery, uses a tethering device that was approved by the FDA in August 2019. Dr. Lonner led in the research and development of the procedure, the first of its kind approved by the FDA for non-fusion scoliosis correction.
“As patients become increasingly interested in non-fusion surgical options for treating scoliosis when a back brace has not been effective, vertebral body tethering is an alternative that preserves motion and flexibility—especially in younger patients as they continue to grow,” says Dr. Lonner. “This option using the FDA-approved device may increase the chances for better long-term outcomes among patients seeking to correct their severe spinal deformity, and continues Mount Sinai’s commitment to using the latest in innovative technology to provide our patients with exceptional care.”
The Tether™- Vertebral Body Tethering System comprises a set of screws and anchors along a flexible cord that is attached to the spinal column to correct the curvature. As an alternative to spinal fusion surgery, the device allows motion in the operated segments of the spine. The technique is a revolutionary change to what has previously been the gold standard of care, a spinal fusion, which eliminates motion in the corrected spine and places greater stresses on adjacent unoperated portions of the spine.
Patients may resume activities including bending, lifting, and twisting, as soon as six weeks following tethering, and can pursue the highest level of athletics, dance, and gymnastics virtually unimpeded, while recovery following a spinal fusion could take 12 weeks and may result in limitations in some activities.
To watch a video of this procedure click here.