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Placement of Bilateral Magnetically Activated Growing Rods

March 15, 2015

Contributors: Joshua M. Pahys, MD; Harold J.P. Van Bosse, MD; Amer Samdani, MD; Patrick J. Cahill, MD; Patrick J. Cahill, MD

Growing rods have been in widespread use among pediatric spinal deformity surgeons for many years. In early 2014, the FDA gave 510k approval to several implants to be used as non-fusion growing rods for the control of spinal deformity among pediatric patients. Among the approved devices, is a magnetically activated growing rod. The magnetically activated growing rod represents new technology that had not been previously available in the United States. Traditional growing rods require periodic lengthening to accommodate growth. Surgeons must select an appropriate interval for lengthening that minimizes the risk of unintended autofusion while balancing the desire to minimize the number of invasive surgeries their young patients have to endure. In general, patients undergo two to three procedures per year with these constructs. Magnetically activated growing rods can be lengthened externally with the patient awake in the outpatient setting. Furthermore, lengthenings can be done more frequently to avoid autofusion. Our team was the first in the United States to place the newly approved device. Our video demonstrates the surgical technique with a focus on identifying similarities and differences in the technique of implantation of magnetically activated growing rods compared to the more familiar traditional growing rods. We hope this video will allow surgeons to adopt the technology for their patients by applying skills and techniques already familiar to them.

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