The Tether – Vertebral Body Tethering is a new treatment option available to patients with scoliosis. It is the first FDA approved Vertebral Body Tethering system!
Historically, if bracing didn’t work, the only other option was spinal fusion. A spinal fusion involves implanting metal rods along either side of your spine to straighten your curve. Rather than metal rods, The Tether uses a strong, flexible cord to straighten out the spine. Spinal fusion is still a great option for patients with scoliosis, but Vertebral Body Tethering may be preferred depending on your lifestyle choices. Patients who find it is important to maintain motion of their spine may choose Vertebral Body Tethering.
The Tether will straighten your spine using your own growth process. This is called “growth modulation”. The Tether is the only medical device available that treats scoliosis while a person is actively growing and uses his or her own growth to repair the curve. The Tether is almost like an “internal brace” for your spine. It puts pressure on the outside of the curve, allowing the inside of the curve to continue growing. This is what straightens out the spine.
The Tether system is different from the other surgical treatments for scoliosis because the spine is still able to bend and flex, rather than being fixed in place with metal rods. However, when it comes to The Tether, it is important to be treated while you are still growing so the spine can correct itself over time. After surgery, the spine may continue to straighten even more as you grow.
The Tether System is a special category of medical device called a Humanitarian Use Device (HUD) which means that it has been show to have probable benefit. The Tether is appropriate for treating idiopathic scoliosis in young people who have scoliosis with a significant amount of growth remaining.
Learn more about The Tether by clicking here.