Magnetically controlled growing rods in early onset scoliosis: radiological results, outcome, and complications in a series of 22 patients

Peter Obid, Karen Yiu, Kenneth Cheung, Kenny Kwan, Michael Ruf, Jason Pui Yin Cheung
Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery 2020 June 18

INTRODUCTION: Magnetically controlled growing rods (MCGR) for the surgical treatment of early onset scoliosis (EOS) allow non-invasive outpatient based distractions during spinal growth. The purpose of this study is to present the results of a single center case series of 22 patients, evaluate the effect of MCGR treatment on the development of spino-pelvic parameters during growth, and report initial outcomes after end of treatment.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Prospectively collected data of 22 EOS patients with MCGR treatment has been analyzed. The following radiological parameters were measured before index surgery, after index surgery, 1 year after index surgery, and at last follow-up: Cobb angle of the major curves, thoracic kyphosis (TK), lumbar lordosis (LL), sagittal vertical axis (SVA), pelvic incidence (PI), pelvic tilt (PT), and sacral slope (SS). Mean age at index surgery was 9.5 years (range: 4-14 years). Mean length of follow-up was 47.6 months (range: 25-121 months). Etiology of diagnosis was idiopathic in 14 patients, associated with neurofibromatosis in 2 patients, and neuromuscular or syndromic in 6 patients.

RESULTS: Mean Cobb angle of the major curve was 57° preoperatively and 29° at last follow-up (p < 0.0005). Mean TK was 20.1° preoperatively and 20° at last follow-up (p > 0.05). Mean LL was 52.8° preoperatively and 53.2° at last follow-up (p > 0.05). Mean PI was 43.2° preoperatively and 46.3° at last follow-up (p > 0.05). Mean PT was 4.1° preoperatively and 5.8° at last follow-up (p > 0.05). Mean SS was 39.2° preoperatively and 41.7° at last follow-up (p > 0.05). 14 patients finished treatment: nine received final fusion and five received rod removal without fusion. Twelve complications occurred: one deep wound infection, six patients developed proximal junctional kyphosis (PJK), one rod fracture, two rods failed to distract, one deformity progressed after rod removal and required spinal fusion, and one patient developed autofusion of the spine prior to end of treatment.

CONCLUSION: MCGR treatment is able to control deformity progression. Complication rate was 54.5%. Sagittal balance was not altered and treatment does not seem to have a negative impact on the development of spino-pelvic parameters during growth. Optimal end of treatment for the individual patient still has to be defined.

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