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The use of magnetically-controlled growing rods to treat children with early-onset scoliosis

early radiological results in 19 children

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We undertook a prospective non-randomised radiological study to evaluate the preliminary results of using magnetically-controlled growing rods (MAGEC System, Ellipse technology) to treat children with early-onset scoliosis.

Patients and Methods

Between January 2011 and January 2015, 19 children were treated with magnetically-controlled growing rods (MCGRs) and underwent distraction at three-monthly intervals. The mean age of our cohort was 9.1 years (4 to 14) and the mean follow-up 22.4 months (5.1 to 35.2). Of the 19 children, eight underwent conversion from traditional growing rods. Whole spine radiographs were carried out pre- and post-operatively: image intensification was used during each lengthening in the outpatient department. The measurements evaluated were Cobb angle, thoracic kyphosis, proximal junctional kyphosis and spinal growth from T1 to S1.


The mean pre-, post-operative and latest follow-up Cobb angles were 62° (37.4 to 95.8), 45.1° (16.6 to 96.2) and 43.2° (11.9 to 90.5), respectively (p < 0.05). The mean pre-, post-operative and latest follow-up T1-S1 lengths were 288.1 mm (223.2 to 351.7), 298.8 mm (251 to 355.7) and 331.1 mm (275 to 391.9), respectively (p < 0.05). In all, three patients developed proximal pull-out of their fixation and required revision surgery: there were no subsequent complications. There were no complications of outpatient distraction.


Our study shows that MCGRs provide stable correction of the deformity in early-onset scoliosis in both primary and revision procedures. They have the potential to reduce the need for multiple operations and thereby minimise the potential complications associated with traditional growing rod systems.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2016;98-B:1240–47.

Correspondence should be sent to Mr C. Thakar; e-mail:

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