NICE has been notified about this procedure and it is part of its work programme. The Interventional Procedures Advisory Committee (IPAC) will consider this procedure and NICE will issue an interventional procedures consultation document about its safety and efficacy for 4 weeks’ public consultation. IPAC will then review the consultation document in the light of comments received and produce a final interventional procedures document, which will be considered by NICE before guidance is issued to the NHS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Status In progress
Process IP
ID number 1557
Description Vertebral body tethering (VBT) is a non-fusion spinal device intended to treat idiopathic scoliosis. Idiopathic scoliosis is abnormal curvature in the spine that occurs without a known cause, in young patients (from ages 8 to 18) whose bones have not fully matured. A VBT system is made up of anchors, bone screws and a cord. An anchor and bone screw are placed into the patient's spine on the long side of the spinal curvature. The cord is secured to the bone screws using set screws. During surgery, the surgeon will apply tension to the cord to partially straighten the patient's spine. After surgery, the cord continues to straighten the spine while the patient continues to grow. The technique exploits a known reaction of bone to being stretched or being compressed. This response is known as the Heuter-Volkmann law and notes that bone growth increases when stretched and decreases when compressed. In scoliosis this response can be used on a curved spine if the bones still have significant growth potential.

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For further information on how we develop guidance, please see our page about NICE interventional procedures guidance