Magnetically controlled growing rods in the treatment of early-onset scoliosis: a note of caution

Bone Joint J. 2017 Jun;99-B(6):708-713. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.99B6.BJJ-2016-1102.R2.


The MAGnetic Expansion Control (MAGEC) system is used increasingly in the management of early-onset scoliosis. Good results have been published, but there have been recent reports identifying implant failures that may be associated with significant metallosis surrounding the implants. This article aims to present the current knowledge regarding the performance of this implant, and the potential implications and strategies that may be employed to identify and limit any problems. We urge surgeons to apply caution to patient and construct selection; engage in prospective patient registration using a spine registry; ensure close clinical monitoring until growth has ceased; and send all explanted MAGEC rods for independent analysis. The MAGEC system may be a good instrumentation system for the treatment of early-onset scoliosis. However, it is innovative and like all new technology, especially when deployed in a paediatric population, robust systems to assess long-term outcome are required to ensure that patient safety is maintained. Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2017;99-B:708-13.

Keywords: Early-onset scoliosis; Growing rods; MAGnetic Expansion Control rods; Registry.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Internal Fixators* / adverse effects
  • Magnets*
  • Orthopedic Procedures / adverse effects
  • Orthopedic Procedures / instrumentation
  • Orthopedic Procedures / methods
  • Prosthesis Design
  • Prosthesis Failure
  • Scoliosis / surgery*
  • Technology Assessment, Biomedical