Current convex tethering techniques for treatment of scoliosis have centered on anterior convex staples or polypropylene tethers. We hypothesized that an allograft tendon tether inserted via the costo-transverse foramen would correct an established spinal deformity. In the pilot study, six 8-week-old pigs underwent allograft tendon tethering via the costo-transverse foreman or sham to test the strength of the transplanted tendon to retard spine growth. After 4 months, spinal deformity in three planes was induced in all animals with allograft tendons. In the treatment study, the allograft tendon tether was used to treat established scoliosis in 11 8-week-old pigs (spinal deformity > 50°). Once the deformity was observed (4 months) animals were assigned to either no treatment group or allograft tendon tether group and progression assessed by monthly radiographs. At final follow-up, coronal Cobb angle and maximum vertebral axial rotation of the treatment group was significantly smaller than the non-treatment group, whereas sagittal kyphosis of the treatment group was significantly larger than the non-treatment group. In sum, a significant correction was achieved using a unilateral allograft tendon spinal tether, suggesting that an allograft tendon tethering approach may represent a novel fusion-less procedure to correct idiopathic scoliosis. © 2016 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 35:183-192, 2017.
Keywords: costo-transverse foramen; scoliosis correction; tethering.
© 2016 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.