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. 2009 Jul;18(4):197-203.
doi: 10.1097/BPB.0b013e32832bf5e0.

The Vertical Expandable Prosthetic Titanium Rib in the Treatment of Spinal Deformity Due to Progressive Early Onset Scoliosis

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The Vertical Expandable Prosthetic Titanium Rib in the Treatment of Spinal Deformity Due to Progressive Early Onset Scoliosis

Norman Ramirez et al. J Pediatr Orthop B. .

Abstract

The Vertical Expandable Prosthetic Titanium Rib (VEPTR) is a technique developed for the treatment of progressive early onset scoliosis. This vertically placed device uses distraction to indirectly elongate the spine and chest, stabilizing the progression of the spinal deformity while preserving spinal growth. Thoracic spine and chest wall deformity are usually correlated; therefore, elongation of the chest wall will increase the space available for the lung and improve respiratory mechanics in patients with early onset scoliosis. We conducted a retrospective study of 17 patients with early onset scoliosis treated with the VEPTR technique. The medical records, imaging studies, and follow-up physical examinations were evaluated. The patient population consisted of 17 primary VEPTR implantations and 33 expansion surgeries with a mean follow-up of 25 months. Our results show that there was an improvement in the coronal plane deformity between the presurgical and postsurgical Cobb angles, preoperative Cobb angle of 59 degrees (range 38-77) to postoperative 35 degrees (range 10-70), resulting in an average decrease of 59% in the Cobb angle (P<0.001). The thoracic kyphosis was maintained at anatomically normal values. The surgical technique preserved the space available for the lung. The complication rate was 13%, which includes infection, device migration, and rib fracture. The analysis of the data shows that the natural history of the progressive spinal deformity was improved in all patients. This preliminary report reaffirms that the VEPTR implantation is a safe and efficient method for the treatment of early onset scoliosis.

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