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Upper Spine News

First Report of Combined VATS and Spinal Fusion for Scheuermann's

This study was done by orthopedic surgeons from the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. They report on 19 cases of surgical correction for Scheuermann's kyphosis.



Scheuermann's kyphosis is a condition affecting the spine. The vertebrae curve forward in a position called kyphosis. Pressure on the bones causes wedging and forces the disc through the vertebral end-plate.

The operations were done using video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS). The front (anterior) part of the spine was released. The back (posterior) spine was fused.

The authors review reasons for surgery and the surgical methods used. They followed all 19 patients for at least two years. Most of the patients obtained at least 40 degrees of correction.

There was only a small loss (1.6 degrees) of correction during the follow-up period. Older patients were at greater risk of losing correction.

The authors say this is the first report of using VATS and fusion together for Scheuermann's kyphosis. The treatment is safe and effective because release of the discs in the front relieves tension on the rods and screws for the fusion.


José A. Herrera-Soto, MD, et al. Experience with Combined Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery (VATS) Anterior Spinal Release and Posterior Spinal Fusion in Scheuermann's Kyphosis. In Spine. October 1, 2005. Vol. 30. No. 19. Pp. 2176-2181.

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