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Thread: What are the presesnt VBS claims?

  1. #1
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    What are the presesnt VBS claims?

    On the other forum that Concerned Dad sometimes like to frequent , a claim was made that VBS is viewed as a temporary fix in lieu of bracing for children too young to be fused. The claim is that virtually all these children who had VBS will need to be fused later.

    That is not my impression of VBS. It may have started out that way but I think the hope, if not claim, NOW is that it is a technique that will obviate fusing later. Is that correct?
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pooka1 View Post
    On the other forum that Concerned Dad sometimes like to frequent , a claim was made that VBS is viewed as a temporary fix in lieu of bracing for children too young to be fused. The claim is that virtually all these children who had VBS will need to be fused later.

    That is not my impression of VBS. It may have started out that way but I think the hope, if not claim, NOW is that it is a technique that will obviate fusing later. Is that correct?
    Hi Sharon,

    First of all, let me state that the following is simply MY understanding. I am happy to ask our doctors at Shriners for clarification of any and all points.

    In answer to your question, you are correct that the "hope" of VBS is definitely to avoid fusion later on for many children.

    VBS did not start out as a temporary fix until fusion, nor is that what it is intended to be now.

    There will no doubt be certain children for whom it will work out that way - they will be spared some years of bracing and, if their curve progresses, they may need to be fused later on.

    However, for most kids - thus far at least - that has NOT been the case. (VBS has been around 7 or 8 years - several children have reached skeletal maturity - many others have not. So, in many ways the jury is still out).

    But if you are asking what the "intent" or "goal" of VBS is - I can state fairly certainly (after having many conversations with Dr. Betz and others performing the procedure) that the goal is not just a temporary fix until fusion is needed. It is to avoid fusion altogether.

    Perhaps most importantly, in the past couple of years, the doctors performing VBS have been able to analyze the data and figure out who VBS will be most successful for. With this new criteria, the success rates have gone up even further (I believe for the group that fits the "ideal" category - i.e., curves under 35 degrees and much growth remaining, the success rate is 80-85%.)

    Again, if you wish me to request the answers to any specific questions from the appropriate medical personnel, I am happy to do so.

    I think the more information we all have, the better.

    p.s. One last note - my son had VBS when he was five (he is ten now). If - and I hope this is NOT the case - but if it turns out in a few years, when he hits his pubertal growth spurt, that he is in the minority that ends up needing fusion, will I have any regrets that we opted for VBS? Absolutely not! My son spent over three years in a brace, full time - from the time he was 2 until he had VBS. If VBS spares him 7 or 8 years of bracing, it would still have been WELL worth it. Of course, if we are talking about an older child - facing only 1 or 2 years of bracing - then it becomes a different story.

    Like I always say - VBS is not the best fit for EVERY child - but for many it's a good option.
    Last edited by mariaf; 03-17-2009 at 02:58 PM.
    mariaf305@yahoo.com
    Mom to David, age 17, braced June 2000 to March 2004
    Vertebral Body Stapling 3/10/04 for 40 degree curve (currently mid 20's)

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/ScoliosisTethering/

    http://pediatricspinefoundation.org/

  3. #3
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    Okay thanks Maria.

    I think that was some bad information being posted on that other forum. Not even a little bit correct.

    I mean for that claim to be correct, most, if not all, of the the stapled kids who reach maturity would have had to be fused and I don't think that is the case.

    So it seems like it was ALWAYS intended as an alternative to fusion from the get-go. I didn't know that but I certainly get the impression that NOW it is viewed that way, maybe on the basis of the data rolling in.

    I wonder why that woman is saying that.
    Last edited by Pooka1; 03-17-2009 at 03:01 PM.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  4. #4
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    I think that Concerned Dad said it best - on another thread - when he said that you cannot believe everything you read on these forums. Just because someone posts something doesn't make it so

    I have also noticed over the past few years that in addition to the doctors at Shriners Hospitals (who are regarded as some of the best in the country), doctors at some of the other highly-respected orthopedic hospitals in the country (Dr. Vitale at NY Presbyterian, Dr. Hresko at Childrens Hospital in Boston, Dr. Skaggs in LA, etc.) have been performing more and more VBS procedures. Even Dr. Boachie - who does not yet perform VBS as far as I know - has referred several suitable patients to Dr. Betz or others for consults regarding VBS.

    I think the key word here is "suitable" - VBS is not the best fit for everyone. Strict criteria need to be met in order for there to be a good chance of success - namely a curve that is 35 degrees or less (sometimes larger curves that are very flexible can be considered) and a significant amount of growth remaining.

    Hope this information is helpful.
    mariaf305@yahoo.com
    Mom to David, age 17, braced June 2000 to March 2004
    Vertebral Body Stapling 3/10/04 for 40 degree curve (currently mid 20's)

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/ScoliosisTethering/

    http://pediatricspinefoundation.org/

  5. #5
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    I realize folks have a choice when it comes to scoliosis fora.

    I guess I'm a little shocked given that what little else I have read by that woman, I got the impression that she was on top of the literature, broadly speaking.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

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