An innovative treatment for the early-onset scoliosis (EOS) was performed on two children from California by a team of doctors from Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego. They have implanted magnetic growing rods for the first time using a new technology and significantly improved the condition of those two children suffering from severe EOS.
EOS which was formally referred as infantile scoliosis is normally noticed in children between birth and 10 years of age. Scoliosis is a medical condition where the spine curves by more than 10 degrees to the sides, deformity may also occur to the front and back. The progress of the disease may lead to cardio-pulmonary problems and may also affect the normal growth of the child.
Magnetic growing rods or expandable rods are implanted on both sides of spinal curvature. Periodical lengthening of these rods are done non-invasively to continue normal spine growth with the help of an external remote controller (ERC) which communicates to the implanted magnetic rods. It gradually stops the progress of curvature and straightens the spine.
This new technology called MAGEC (MAGnetic Expansion Control) system developed by Ellipse Technologies, Inc. saves children and parents from a stressful experience of multiple surgeries for lengthening of the spine which are necessary in the use of traditional growing rod implants and also relieves from the agony of wearing casts.
MAGEC is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for commercial use in the U.S. but granted Compassionate Use approval for these two surgeries due to the severe patient conditions.
It provides a new hope to many children although early diagnosis is important for the best long term results.