CORAL GABLES, Fla. – An estimated seven million Americans are affected by scoliosis, which is an abnormal curvature of the spine.
Specialists at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital are studying whether a process called Tethering may offer any benefit to patients versus the gold standard, which is spinal fusion surgery.
“What we do know is that patients are very functional and return to high levels of activity after these fusions but not to be complacent about what the treatments are we continue to look at other alternatives and tethering, what it aims to do, is provide correction to the spine without actually fusing, making those bones stick together for good,” said Dr. Stephen George.
George said it’s not clear whether tethering provides more flexibility than standard fusion surgery.
He said tethering is not FDA-approved for scoliosis but can potentially benefit a small subset of patients who are still in the early stages of growth.
Thursday marks the grand re-opening of Fishermen’s Community Hospital in Marathon, which was closed in September 2017 when Hurricane Irma swept through the area.
Immediately after the storm, Baptist Health established mobile field units on the grounds to continue providing care to the Middle Keys.
The new hospital is built to withstand wind speeds of a Category 5 hurricane.