Vertebral body stapling: A fusionless treatment option for a growing child with moderate idiopathic scoliosis

Randal R. Betz, Ashish Ranade, Amer F. Samdani, Ross Chafetz, Linda P. D'Andrea, John P. Gaughan, Jahangir Asghar, Harsh Grewal, Mary Jane Mulcahey

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

117 Scopus citations


Study Design: Retrospective review. Objective: To report the results of vertebral body stapling (VBS) with minimum 2-year follow-up in patients with idiopathic scoliosis. Summary of Background Data: While bracing for idiopathic scoliosis is moderately successful, its efficacy has been called into question, and it carries associated psychosocial ramifications. VBS has been shown to be a safe, feasible alternative to bracing for idiopathic scoliosis. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 28 of 29 patients (96%) with idiopathic scoliosis treated with VBS followed for a minimum of 2 years. Inclusion criteria: Risser sign of 0 or 1 and coronal curve measuring between 20° and 45°. Results: There were 26 thoracic and 15 lumbar curves. Average follow-up was 3.2 years. The procedure was considered a success if curves corrected to within 10° of preoperative measurement or decreased >10°. Thoracic curves measuring <35° had a success rate of 77.7%. Curves which reached ≤20° on first erect radiograph had a success rate of 85.7%. Flexible curves >50% correction on bend film had a success rate of 71.4%. Of the 26 curves, 4 (15%) showed correction >10°. Kyphosis improved in 7 patients with preoperative hypokyphosis (<10° of kyphosis T5-T12). Of the patients, 83.5% had remaining normal thoracic kyphosis of 10°to 40°. Lumbar curves demonstrated a success rate of 86.7%. Four of the 15 lumbar curves (27%) showed correction >10°. Major complications include rupture of a unrecognized congenital diaphragmatic hernia and curve overcorrection in 1 patient. Two minor complications included superior mesenteric artery syndrome and atelectasis due to a mucous plug. There were no instances of staple dislodgement or neurovascular injury. Conclusion: Analysis of patients with idiopathic scoliosis (IS) with high-risk progression treated with vertebral body stapling (VBS) and minimum 2-year follow-up shows a success rate of 87% in all lumbar curves and in 79% of thoracic curves <35°. Thoracic curves >35° were not successful and require alternative treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-176
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Bracing
  • Fusionless
  • Idiopathic scoliosis
  • Vertebral body stapling


Dive into the research topics of 'Vertebral body stapling: A fusionless treatment option for a growing child with moderate idiopathic scoliosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this