Zak Wankier – Research on Capitol Hill

(Mentor: Gidon Ofek)
Current methods for the treatment of Early-Onset Scoliosis include the use of casting, spinal fusion rods, and active growing systems.  These treatment methods report a high rate of complications such as endangered thoracic growth and pulmonary function, limited curve correction, and multiple revision surgeries as the child develops.  The purpose of this research was to create anatomical models for the curvature and vertebral body size during pediatric development to aid in the design of novel growing rods for Early-Onset Scoliosis treatment.
   An initial literature review was conducted to identify exact measurements of individual vertebral bodies C3-L5 as they develop in the human spine.  Average vertebral body height, width, and depth measurements, as well as the angle between vertebrae and intervertebral disc heights were all identified for children 3-6 years old, 7-9 years old, 10-12 years old, 13-15 years old, and finally for the fully developed human spine.  Data was compiled from 21 articles spanning 44 years of research.
  Approximation methods were further developed to extrapolate missing anatomical measurement data from the literature at different time points.  Custom MATLAB code was written to perform the calculations to approximate vertebral body height, width, and depth measurements separately for the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar regions of the spine.  Similar calculations were performed to approximate missing intervertebral disc heights as well as lordotic and kyphotic angles within the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar regions.
  Comprehensive anatomical measurements were compiled from the literature review and approximations; and were used to create anterior and lateral view engineering drawings of the spine at each timepoint.  These engineering drawings will be used to develop a detailed CAD model for the development of the pediatric spine.  Further work will validate the model using radiographs of normal spines at various stages of maturation.

House Representative:
Doug Owens
Senate Representative: Jani Iwamoto