View Full Version : Vertebral stapling

01-19-2004, 07:20 PM
Has anyone undergone the new procedure called Vertebral Stapling? My 12 year old daughter's pediatric orthopedist has recommended this procedure, but he has never actually done this procedure himself. I understand this surgery orginated out of Shriner's Hospital in Philadelphia. I have a copy of the one published study concerning this procedure. Please e-mail me if you have personal insight/information about this procedure. Ed1Claudia@yahoo.com



01-19-2004, 08:59 PM
Hi Sharon...

Vertebral stapling is essentially just a replacement for bracing. You should weigh the risks and pain of surgery against the discomfort of your daughter having to wear a brace for 1-3 years. Also, being any doctor's first patient in any new procedure always comes with increased risks.

Early results look promising, but you may have trouble getting it approved by your insurance company. And, if the procedure doesn't work, your daughter may have to have fusion surgery anyway.

I don't mean to sound negative about the procedure. It may very well be the best thing for your child. I just wanted to point out a few things that you might consider.

Good luck with whatever you decide.


01-20-2004, 10:24 AM
Here are some background primers on vertebral body stapling for anyone who is interested:




kathy porter
07-12-2004, 09:44 AM
My son Shane (now 14) had the stapling surgery in december of 2002.His curve was 45 degrees. Before the surgery he wore a brace for three years with no trouble.Shane was in the hospital for about 6 days and recovery took 4 weeks but he felt well enough to play in the snow in three weeks.He has no restrictions with this surgery.So far he is doing wonderful.His curve is holding at 30 degrees but he still has alot of growing to do.His surgery was done by Dr. Randy Betz at Shriners hospital of philadelphia .

upper 20
middle 45
lower 20

after surgery:
upper 20
middle 30
lower 20

only the middle curve was stapled 13 staples in 7 of his vertabra

07-13-2004, 07:38 PM
Wanted to let everyone know that my daughter DID have the vertebral stapling at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. The surgery was performed by Dr. Timothy Oswald and went perfectly. My daughter was his second vertebral stapling, and he has done several more since mid-March when ours was done. My daughter was out of school for 4 weeks ( the 4th week was spring break). She wore the brace for a month after surgery, and has put it away. Our insurance did approve the surgery, and she was only the hospital for 3 nights. She did have bilateral chest tubes after the surgery, but after they were pulled ( first tube pulled on post-op day 1, second on post-op day 2) she was much improved. Her curves went from 38 and 32 to 30 and 28 and she still has an estimated year of growth left. We have been very pleased with the results thus far, and our personal experience has been tremendously positive. Just not having to wear the brace was worth the hospital time. Her only restrictions now are contact sports like football!!! ( not a problem ). Our surgeon has been very responsive to every question and concern and I highly recommend him. With him in surgery was the chief of non-invasive surgery at Emory ( a thoracic surgeon by trade) as a precautionary measure should he have hit a bleeder and it required bigger incisions. She has very small scars on her sides and though they bothered her at first, when she compares it to wearing the brace, its just no big deal. If you have any questions of concerns feel free to e-mail me, I am the Mom and I can reply or have my ( now 13 year old ) daughter reply.

wooried mom
08-11-2004, 08:16 AM
Do you know if the dr. in Atlanta has performed this surgery on any 5 year olds? Can you point me to a website or anything that would tell me more about the dr. you are referring to? My daughter was recently diagnosed and the only dr. we have seen so far is recomending a milwaulkee brace and I am not wanting to put her through that for 23 hours. I know that Dr. Randal Beitz has performed the vertabral stapling on at least two 5 year olds.

08-12-2004, 01:35 PM
My daughter is five and hopefully will be having this surgery in the late fall. We see Dr. Lubicky at Shriners Chicago, but since he is going to Rush Children's we will be having the surgery done there. She has a 25 lumbar curve and has been wearing a brace for almost 3.5 years.

I would love to hear from parents whose children have had this procedure!


08-13-2004, 03:35 PM
My daughter had just turned 13 when she had the vertebral stapling. She wore her brace for about 1 month after the surgery and she hasn't worn it since ( a godsend in and of itself ). I don't think I could put my daughter in a Milwaukee brace. My college roommate wore a Milwaukee most of her growing up years and advised me to do anything I could to prevent my daughter from having to wear it- including surgery. Grace was in the hospital for 3 nights and did great. Her curve has now improved, though she hasn't stopped growing yet. Her surgeon is Dr. Timothy Oswald and he operates at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. I believe his group practice is Pediatrics Associates of Atlanta- ( they have a website ) He was just super in every way. He really did inspire confidence. He went to Shriner's to observe the procedure and consulted with Dr. Betz about my daughter. I have no qualms at all about recommending him. ( I work in the field of healthcare and I don't recommend physicians lightly). I do understand what a difficult decision this is for you. My daughter was old enough to have a role in the decision making process, but this decision will really rest solely with you. Whatever decision you make will be the right decision for your circumstances. We have no guarantees about the future, so make the best decision you can and move forward. God Bless you and your daughter.


03-31-2005, 08:47 PM
My daughter is nine years old and has a 30 degree thoracic curve. Our doctor referred us to Dr. Lubicky in Chicago. Our options are many years of the Milwaukee brace or the vertebral stapling procedure. Our daughter is very active and invloved with sports and I cannot imagine her enduiring that brace for so long. She will have the procedure next week. Would love to hear from anyone who's children have undergone the procedure and am interested in the results thus far with curve retention and possible correction.



Mary Lou
04-01-2005, 05:32 AM
Hi. In the past I've talked to a woman whose then 5 y.o. son had the stapling done by Dr. D'Andrea, an associate of Dr. Betz' in Philly. The last time I talked to her, he was doing great! You can go to the list of members on this site and her name is mariaf. That way you can go back and read the posts where she talked about her son.

Mary Lou

01-30-2007, 01:21 PM
My 6 year old daughter was just recommended by her doctor in Atlanta to have the stapling procedure. Would love any new and updated information that anyone has on the procedure and to hear from any parents who have undergone this with their child. We have been fitted for a brace and are moving down that path and are weighing our options between bracing and stapling. Would love to hear from any of you with something to share. Please email me at shirley.powell@turner.com if you have any insights. Thanks.

01-30-2007, 02:35 PM

You'll see from my signature that my son had the stapling. I'd be happy to discuss it with you and answer any questions you may have. He was five and a half years old when he had it done, nearly three years ago. My e-mail address is mariaf305@yahoo.com.

take care,