Children's National Hospital performs milestone spinal surgery

Practice Management

Children's National Hospital has performed the region's first anterior vertebral body tethering surgery for a child in the Washington, D.C., area.

The Feb. 1 procedure was led by Matthew Oetgen, MD, chief of orthopedics at Children's National; Shannon Kelly, MD, associate chief of orthopedic surgery; and Timothy Kane, MD, chief of general and thoracic surgery.  

The device — Zimmer Biomet's The Tether system — is designed to treat children with idiopathic scoliosis, the most common type of scoliosis.

The technology allows for gradual correction of a spinal deformity through the natural growth of the spine, leading to improvements in spinal alignment while maintaining flexibility, according to the company.

"This promising technology may help maintain the flexibility of the spine as it grows straighter over time," Dr. Oetgen said in a Feb. 5 news release. "Novel devices like The Tether offer additional treatment options for idiopathic scoliosis, which have the potential to improve pediatric surgical outcomes and quality of life for children and adolescents with significant spinal deformities."

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