What are magnetic growth rods??

Hello everyone,

The most common procedure for scoliosis is spinal fusion, however there are other operations and treatments available. For instance, the use of magnetic growth rods is becoming more frequently used.
The magnetic growth rods procedure is fairly new, it has been developed to improve the traditional growing rod procedure. This new procedure, only has a short follow up time post op. Magnetic rods aim to grow with the child, rather than stop growth like a spinal fusion would do.
The procedure consists of single or dual titanium rods that contain a magnetically drivable and lengthing mechanism. The rods are placed in the areas in which the spinal curvature is worst. Patients who choose this treatment are required to undergo a post op procedure (distraction) after the initial surgery has been completed.

The post op procedure is not very invasive, however patients are also required to attend follow ups for up to 6 weeks post op. An external remote controller is placed over the internal magnet, and once applied, the rotating mechanism cause the rods to lengthen. During each distraction visit, the aim is to  lengthen the spine by 1.5 to 2mm. If the patient is experiencing any pain or discomfort then the rods can be retracted. The procedure is really quick and on average lasts between 30 seconds to 1 minute. This procedure is usually performed on children aged 7 and under, who have been diagnosed with early on set Scoliosis.

There are fewer complications associated with magnetic growth rods. However, like any operation there are still risks. There is a small risk, in that the rod may break and cause damage to the spinal cord. There is also a chance that the magnetic growth rods may fail to straighten the spine.

The magnetic rods last 24-36 months before they have to be replaced, at which point the patient will have to undergo the surgery again.

Although magnetic growth rods are a great option for younger children aged 7 and under with early on set Scoliosis.

Magnetic rods is another treatment for scoliosis, which is proven to be effective.

I really hope this post has been useful in some way.

Thank you for reading

Sadie xoxo


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