A magnetic approach to treating progressive early-onset scoliosis.

Research paper by Jane M JM Wick, Julie J Konze

Indexed on: 31 Jul '12Published on: 31 Jul '12Published in: AORN Journal


Early-onset scoliosis presents at birth and up to five years of age. Growing rods are a treatment option when early-onset scoliosis cannot be controlled by serial casts or braces. The function of a growing rod is to allow a child's spine to continue to grow under controlled conditions until a definitive correction can be made when the patient nears skeletal maturity. This article presents two case reports describing the use of an expandable magnetic growing rod in children with progressive, early-onset scoliosis. After implantation, caregivers expand the rod nonsurgically using an external magnet to obtain and maintain correction while the child grows. The first case report describes the use of a magnetic growing rod in a patient with a rigid spinal curve and a significant rotational deformity; the second case report describes a patient with a more flexible neuromuscular curve. These were the first two patients to be offered treatment with an expandable rod in North America after the surgeon obtained approval to use the device based on compassionate grounds from the US Food and Drug Administration and institutional review board consent and approval for both surgeries.