• Press Release

Mount Sinai Surgeons Perform First Surgery in New York City Using FDA-Approved Spinal Tethering Device

Latest Technology and Minimally Invasive Approach to Correct Most Common Form of Scoliosis

  • New York, NY
  • (January 27, 2020)

Mount Sinai surgeons have performed the first-ever spinal tethering surgery in New York City to correct idiopathic scoliosis—a sideways curvature in the spine—in children and adolescents. The procedure performed by Baron S. Lonner, MD, Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, and Pediatrics, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and Chief of Minimally Invasive Scoliosis Surgery, Mount Sinai Health System, uses the latest technology that was recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The procedure, a minimally invasive approach known as vertebral body tethering scoliosis surgery, uses a tethering device that was approved by the FDA in August 2019. Dr. Lonner led in the research and development of the procedure, the first of its kind approved by the FDA for non-fusion scoliosis correction.

“As patients become increasingly interested in non-fusion surgical options for treating scoliosis when a back brace has not been effective, vertebral body tethering is an alternative that preserves motion and flexibility—especially in younger patients as they continue to grow,” says Dr. Lonner. “This option using the FDA-approved device may increase the chances for better long-term outcomes among patients seeking to correct their severe spinal deformity, and continues Mount Sinai’s commitment to using the latest in innovative technology to provide our patients with exceptional care.”

The Tether™- Vertebral Body Tethering System comprises a set of screws and anchors along a flexible cord that is attached to the spinal column to correct the curvature. As an alternative to spinal fusion surgery, the device allows motion in the operated segments of the spine. The technique is a revolutionary change to what has previously been the gold standard of care, a spinal fusion, which eliminates motion in the corrected spine and places greater stresses on adjacent unoperated portions of the spine.

Patients may resume activities including bending, lifting, and twisting, as soon as six weeks following tethering, and can pursue the highest level of athletics, dance, and gymnastics virtually unimpeded, while recovery following a spinal fusion could take 12 weeks and may result in limitations in some activities.

The first patients to receive this procedure with the FDA-approved spinal tethering device are available for interview.


About the Mount Sinai Health System

Mount Sinai Health System is one of the largest academic medical systems in the New York metro area, with 48,000 employees working across eight hospitals, more than 400 outpatient practices, more than 600 research and clinical labs, a school of nursing, and a leading school of medicine and graduate education. Mount Sinai advances health for all people, everywhere, by taking on the most complex health care challenges of our time—discovering and applying new scientific learning and knowledge; developing safer, more effective treatments; educating the next generation of medical leaders and innovators; and supporting local communities by delivering high-quality care to all who need it.

Through the integration of its hospitals, labs, and schools, Mount Sinai offers comprehensive health care solutions from birth through geriatrics, leveraging innovative approaches such as artificial intelligence and informatics while keeping patients’ medical and emotional needs at the center of all treatment. The Health System includes approximately 9,000 primary and specialty care physicians and 11 free-standing joint-venture centers throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida. Hospitals within the System are consistently ranked by Newsweek’s® “The World’s Best Smart Hospitals, Best in State Hospitals, World Best Hospitals and Best Specialty Hospitals” and by U.S. News & World Report's® “Best Hospitals” and “Best Children’s Hospitals.” The Mount Sinai Hospital is on the U.S. News & World Report® “Best Hospitals” Honor Roll for 2023-2024.

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