What is vertebral body tethering?

Vertebral body tethering (VBT), or spine tethering, is a surgical treatment for children with scoliosis that helps correct spinal curvature. This treatment uses a flexible cord called a tether to help straighten the spine and guide its growth as your child develops. Spine tethering is designed to correct the spinal curve while maintaining its flexibility and motion.

Tethering offers significant advantages over traditional scoliosis treatments like bracing and spinal fusion. Unlike bracing, which only stops the curve from getting worse, tethering corrects the curve of the spine and guides it to grow straight. Tethering also helps maintain your child's flexibility and motion, unlike fusing, which eliminates spinal movement. This restriction of motion can prevent your child from taking part in their favorite sports or physical activities. Spinal fusion also causes more wear and tear on the unfused areas of the spine, which, over time, can lead to degenerative arthritis.