Science News

Magnetically Controlled Rods for Children with Scoliosis

Today it has been announced that children with curved spines could soon be treated with remote-controlled rods. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has recommended to the NHS that it funds the treatment for children with scoliosis (curvature of the spine).

These extendable titanium rods would be attached to the ribs or spine of the child near to the curved section of the spine, similar to how surgery takes place now. One in 40 children (2.5%) suffer some form of curvature of the spine when they grow up but 90% of these correct themselves.

The new type of treatment, Magec (Magnetic Expansion Control) doesn’t require added regular operations to lengthen the rods as the child grows- but instead uses a remote device which controls the magnets in the rods to adjust it’s length.

I’ve actually had a scoliosis correction – my spine was at a 65 degree curve and through an operation has been reduced to 13 degrees. Before now children, maybe 6/7 years old go through major surgery similar to mine, but in some cases every six months!! But this new procedure could decrease countless operations down to just one.

This shows general how a spine is in someone who has scoliosis

 

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