Updated: Aug 15, 2020
The choice of vertebral body tethering (VBT), anterior scoliosis correction (ASC) or spinal fusion (SF) is based (at least in part) on the evaluation of radiographs. Radiographs are necessary to diagnose and follow-up patients with scoliosis. Decisions regarding who needs treatment, when to start it, what kind of treatment propose and how successful the treatment has been, are based on radiographs.
In order to optimize the quality of the images and to reduce the amount of X-rays received by the patient, digitalization has provided an important contribution. In fact, in the decade of 1990 most Imaging Departments transitioned to digital radiography. By using electronics and computers to amplify the signals provided by the "impact" of X-rays on films, radiation was substantially reduced to patients.
In this century, an important advancement was brought by the EOS technology. Based on research on radiation detectors which was awarded a Nobel Prize, the EOS device obtains clear X-ray images using only a fraction of the standard radiation needed for conventional X-rays.
EOS machines are not widespread (their cost is much higher than that of a conventional X-ray equipment) but in many countries you can find one, and it may be worth the trip. Today in Italy there are 4 EOS machines, one of them in our Hospital in Milan (Istituto Ortopedico Galeazzi).