A common surgical treatment for early-onset scoliosis is the implantation of growing rods or expandable titanium ribs. The devices are lengthened as the child grows, helping to straighten the spine. Traditionally, lengthening involves surgery under general anesthesia every six months. MAGEC rods can be lengthened without an invasive procedure. As she grows, the rod implanted in Chloe’s spine will be lengthened — not through additional surgeries like traditional implanted rods — but through a quick office procedure with an external remote control, requiring no incisions
During an office visit every two months, the remote control is placed over Chloe’s spine and then manually activated, causing a magnet inside the rod to rotate and lengthen the rod.
The first MAGEC rod implantation was done at Nationwide Children’s in June 2015. Since then, ten implantations have been done, enabling more patients to straighten their spines with fewer surgeries.
Depending on how the curve in her spine progresses, Chloe, now 10 years old, may have the rods removed in her adolescence or she may keep them into adulthood. For now, she is thrilled to have shed her back braces. Two braces dotted with butterflies, and another featuring Scooby Doo, now occupy spots on her bedroom wall.