FDA clearance - scoliosis - DePuy synthes spine

DePuy Synthes Spine announced it has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use of its EXPEDIUM®, VIPER®, and VIPER®2 Spine Systems on patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS), an abnormal curvature of the spine that typically affects children between the ages of 10 and 18.(1) This expands the scoliosis indication for the pedicle screw systems, which now are indicated for both adolescents and adults.

DePuy Synthes Spine-EXPEDIUM

“This FDA clearance is an important milestone for us as a company, and is also important for adolescent patients who will have greater access to the latest technology available if they require spine surgery for their scoliosis,” said Namal Nawana, Worldwide President, DePuy Synthes Spine. “DePuy Synthes Spine remains committed to developing innovative technologies for adolescents with scoliosis.”

The EXPEDIUM technology was first introduced in 2004. The VIPER and VIPER2 Spine Systems have been used in minimally invasive spine surgery for a wide range of pathologies since 2005 and 2008, respectively.

The new indication, which was received last month, clears the way for the devices to be used in posterior non-cervical pedicle screw fixation in adolescent patients and for the company to provide training and education about its appropriate use. 

“AIS is a serious challenge to surgeons, patients, and their families. New treatment options based on proven technologies provide surgeons with more choices to help more patients,” said Dr. Suken Shah*, Spine Surgeon at the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware.

Scoliosis can lead to chronic back pain and reduced respiratory function, and impact quality of life by limiting activity and affecting self-esteem.(2) If the curvature of the spine is between 25 to 45 degrees, back bracing is generally recommended in an attempt to stop curve progression. If the curve progresses beyond 45 degrees, spinal fusion surgery is considered to strengthen and straighten the spine.(3) Most patients do not progress to a degree needing surgical intervention.

According to the National Scoliosis Foundation, scoliosis patients make more than 600,000 visits to private physician offices, 38,000 children undergo spinal fusion surgeries and about 30,000 children are braced each year in the United States.(4)

About DePuy Synthes Spine

DePuy Synthes Spine is one of the largest spine companies in the world dedicated to developing treatments and solutions for the full spectrum of spinal disorders including adult and adolescent deformity, spinal stenosis, trauma and degenerative disc disease. The company provides total solutions that range from devices for minimally invasive and complex spine surgery to procedural solutions that advance patient care. DePuy Synthes Spine is part of DePuy Synthes Companies of Johnson & Johnson which builds upon a legacy of innovation by filling unmet clinical needs and improving patient and economic outcomes across joint reconstruction, trauma, spine, sports medicine, neurological, craniomaxillofacial, power tools and biomaterials.

*Paid consultant to DePuy Synthes Spine

(1) Scoliosis Research Society. Idiopathic scoliosis. Available from http://www.srs.org/patient_and_family/scoliosis/idiopathic/adolescents/

(2) Scoliosis Research Society. National scoliosis foundation: educating, encouraging & empowering. Available from


(3) American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Scoliosis in children and adolescents. Available from http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00353

(4) National Scoliosis Foundation. Information and support. Available from http://www.scoliosis.org/info.php


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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