Thoracic Insufficiency Syndrome

Also known as: TIS.

What is thoracic insufficiency syndrome?

The thorax is the portion of the body between the neck and abdomen that includes the spine, and ribs, sternum (breastbone), the chest wall (rib cage), and lungs. TIS is a rare congenital (before birth) complex condition that involves chest wall abnormalities which prevent normal lung growth or breathing.

What causes thoracic insufficiency syndrome?

Thoracic insufficiency syndrome commonly occurs with:

What are the signs/symptoms of thoracic insufficiency syndrome?

Common symptoms may include a narrow trunk and rib cage, scoliosis (curved spine), absence of ribs or rib fusion, breathing problems and other symptoms.

What are thoracic insufficiency syndrome care options?

There may be options, however a common treatment is the surgical insertion of a device called a vertical expandable prosthetic titanium rib (VEPTR) that expands the chest and stabilizes the spine.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: December 19, 2019 11:41 AM

Center for Spine Disorders & Scoliosis Surgery

Providing treatment for spine disorders for over 35 years and pioneering surgical spine treatments now in use around the world

Learn more

Learn more about

Spina Bifida

Please see Myelomeningocele for further information.

Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)

Spinal muscular atrophy is a rare degenerative disorder in which the nerve cells in the upper and lower parts of the spinal cord don’t function normally, resulting in muscle wasting and weakness. Learn more