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J Orthop Surg (Hong Kong). 2019 Sep-Dec;27(3):2309499019886945. doi: 10.1177/2309499019886945.

Current status of the magnetically controlled growing rod in treatment of early-onset scoliosis: What we know after a decade of experience.

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Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR, China.


The magnetically controlled growing rod (MCGR) has had approximately 10 years of clinical experience worldwide. Clinical effectiveness to control early-onset scoliosis is consistent even at final surgery. MCGRs have significantly lower relative percentage of infection or wound complications as compared to traditional growing rods. Most common complications include foundation failure and failure of distraction. Contouring of the rod especially at the proximal segment while accommodating for the straight actuator remains a difficult task and its failure may lead to proximal junctional kyphosis. Unique complications of MCGR include clunking, temporary diminishing distraction gains, and metallosis. Temporary reductions in distraction gains are observed as the MCGR lengthens but return to normal baseline distraction gains after rod exchange. Lack of standardization for rod configuration, distraction strategies and decisions of whether to keep the rods in situ, remove without fusion surgery or to perform spinal fusion at skeletal maturity will require further study.


actuator; complications; distraction; lengthening; magnetically controlled growing rod


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