Less invasive procedure shows promise in treating scoliosis

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NEW YORK CITY – Around three million new cases of scoliosis are diagnosed every year and the treatment can sometimes involve metal rods and screws. Now a less invasive procedure is showing promising results.

Max Kaback, 18, an avid swimmer, was suddenly overwhelmed with back pain in 7th grade gym class. It’s an abnormal curvature of the spine that’s considered common. However, after hitting a growth spurt, Max’s condition got much worse.

Max’s parents say when they found out their son needed surgery, they were worried – even Max’s dad, who happens to be an orthopedic surgeon upstate.

Their search for the right solution led them to Dr. Baron Lonner at Mount Sinai.

In 2018, he already had experience performing a new surgery that was not approved by the FDA at the time, but showed promising results.

The procedure is called vertebral body tethering, or VBT. Doctors thread a rope along the spine that allows the curve to correct itself as the patient grows.

It is now approved by the FDA, but doctors are still learning about the long-term results.

See how Max is doing now by watching the video.