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Original Article

Med Arch. 2020; 74(6): 433-438

Early Childhood Scoliosis Management by Vertical Expandable Prosthetic Titanium Rib (VEPTR): Experience of Royal Medical Services (RMS)

Asem Almajali, Mohammad Obeidat, Omar Bashmaf, Raed Wagokh, Bassam Harahsheh, Raed Alzaben.


Introduction: Scoliosis could develop at the childhood age and progress beyond skeletal maturity. An early spinal fusion arrests growth of the spine and thorax, risking the development of secondary thoracic insufficiency syndrome. Vertical expandable prosthetic titanium rib (VEPTR) is a fusionless technique aiming to correct the deformity with preservation of growth potential. Aim: To show our experience and results regarding the use of VEPTR in children with scoliosis in regard to coronal profiles(length and deformity angle), spinal growth, and the complications we faced during the follow-up of two years after the index procedure. Methods: A retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data of a case series. Forty child with scoliosis of different etiologies. Their primary diagnoses were neuromuscular scoliosis in 13, Juvenile idiopathic scoliosis in12, Congenital Scoliosis in 8, syndromatic patients 5 and 2 with Arthrogryposis. All 40 patients received percutaneous rib-to-pelvis or rib to vertebra or rib to rib VEPTR implantation between January 2016 and January 2018. None of them needed blood transfusion. They underwent 56 primary implantation, 16(40%) bilateral system and 24(60%) unilateral followed by lengthening procedure in a period of 4-6 months. The patients were assessed based on mechanical measures, that is, the radiographic improvement of their scoliosis, spinal height, and sagittal and coronal correction, which are measured and compared preoperatively, immediately postoperatively and at two years follow up, complication encountered during this period are also counted. Results: The average initial correction in Cobb angle immediately after the index surgery was 14.4° (5°-26°) and the average final correction of Cobb which is measured after the last expansion procedure (Cobb angle of the major curve measured after last expansion minus initial preoperative Cobb angle of the major curve) was 7.3° (12%). The average of preoperative coronal T1-S1 length was 25.6 cm with an average initial correction achieved immediately after implantation of VEPTR of2.8 cm (1.2-5.1cm) which is 10.9%, and the average coronal length gain at 2 years follow up was 5.7 cm (3.7-9.8cm) that is 22.2%. Complication occurred in 18 of our patients (45%). Conclusion: Early results of VEPTR for childhood scoliosis are encouraging. Follow-up till skeletal maturity will best determine future indications.

Key words: Early Onset Scoliosis (EOS), VEPTR, Major curve.

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