I know exactly how you are feeling. We went through this with my 17 (16 at the time) year old son. Curve at that time was just reaching the degree where they would start talking about surgery once he stopped growing. He had a little over a year left of growing so our surgeon shared VBT. We too had the concern of the lack of knowing long term effects. That was our biggest concern but we also didn't like the concept of bone fusion and losing movement. Too young and active for that. We opted for the surgery and he had it in Jan 2020. I was not certain how he would handle the surgery as he had never experienced anything even close to something like this. He did really great. The chest tube was the most uncomfortable thing for him. They told us if in pain get up and walk and we did anytime of the day/night. He said that helped. They send you home with a pain catheter but he didn't need it. We were able to control the pain with Tylenol, Advil rotation. He went back to school after his recovery period and started baseball in the Spring. Started slow but by end of season was playing full time. He played soccer in the Summer and this last Fall. He said he has no back pain. He has been able to do everything he did before the surgery. We have had two follow-up visits (6 month/1 yr) and both visits the curve looks better and the cord is looking good. He does have scars ("battle wounds") – one on middle back area and a couple on his sides.
We went to Mayo for the surgery (also live close). Our surgeon was great she explained everything very well. And was upfront with what they didn't know at the time. Shared publications for us to review. We talked about how many VBT surgeries Mayo has done and outcomes, the fact it was not fully FDA approved. She referenced meetings that she regularly has with other physicians around the country where they meet just to talk about VBT. Our biggest concern was the lack of long term data. Most other questions were what happens before, during and after the surgery. We met with a team member that walked us through every step. What to expect day of, what Brady would be going through, what happens in the hospital, when we first get home, etc. After recovery limitations – we were told none – if it hurts take a break, try again and if it still hurts don't do that. So far we have seen no limitations.