FDA Clears DePuy Synthes Spine’s Expedium® And Viper® Systems For Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis

In short

DePuy Synthes Spine tells us it has received FDA 510(k) clearance for use of its EXPEDIUM®(pictured), 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.


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)

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.

Company comments

“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.”

Clinician comments

“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 and a paid consultant to DePuy Synthes Spine

Source: 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