Dell Children's Medical Center
Dell Children's studying new treatment for scoliosis
Dell Children’s Medical Center, part of Ascension Texas in Austin, is just the second hospital in the nation to participate in an investigational study to determine the safety and probable benefit of a new treatment for juvenile or adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.
According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, scoliosis is a condition that causes the spine to curve sideways. Several different types of scoliosis affect children and adolescents. By far, the most common type is idiopathic, which means the exact cause is not known.
Most cases of idiopathic scoliosis occur between age 10 and the time a child is fully grown. A doctor may recommend surgery if the child’s curve is greater than 45 to 50 degrees or if bracing did not stop the curve from reaching this point. The system being investigated features a flexible braid that is attached to the front spinal column using metallic vertebral body screws, plates and set screws. As the patient grows, the braid pushes on the growth plates of the vertebral bodies along the outward side of the curve to correct the curvature of the thoracic spine. The continued growth of the inward side of the curve brings the vertebral bodies back into alignment.