Use of a distraction-to-stall lengthening procedure in magnetically controlled growing rods: A single-center cohort study

J Orthop Surg (Hong Kong). May-Aug 2018;26(2):2309499018779833. doi: 10.1177/2309499018779833.


Purpose: The objective of this study was to assess the outcome of patients treated with magnetically controlled growing rods (MCGRs) using a standardized distraction procedure with intended distraction-to-stall and to compare the outcomes between idiopathic and nonidiopathic patients.

Methods: This was a retrospective single-center cohort study. Conversion cases were excluded. Distractions were performed with 2- to 3-month intervals with the intention of distraction-to-stall on both rods. Distraction length was measured on X-rays every 6 months. Spinal height was assessed using T1-T12 and T1-S1 annual increase.

Results: 19 patients (eight idiopathic and 11 nonidiopathic) were included. Mean age at surgery was 9.7 ± 1.9 years, and median follow-up was 1.9 years (interquartile range (IQR): 1.3-2.2). Major curve improved from median 76° (IQR: 64-83) preoperatively to 42° (IQR: 32-51) postoperatively ( p < 0.001) corresponding to a curve correction of 43% (IQR: 33-51). Correction was maintained at 1- and 2-year follow-up. Median annual T1-T12 and T1-S1 height increase were 10 mm (IQR: 6-16) and 11 mm (IQR: 7-33), respectively. A total of 159 distraction procedures were performed; 83.5% of these were distracted-to-stall, and 16.5% were stopped due to discomfort. Median rod distraction per procedure was 2.0 mm (IQR: 1.6-2.7) for the concave side and 1.7 mm (IQR: 1.4-2.5) for the convex side. Five patients had implant-related complications. Patients with nonidiopathic etiology were significantly younger and had lower flexibility compared with idiopathic patients ( p ≤ 0.040). However, we found no statistically significant difference in curve correction, spinal height increase, distraction length, or complications between the two groups ( p ≥ 0.109).

Conclusion: MCGR effectively corrected the deformity and increased spinal height using a distraction procedure with intended distraction-to-stall. Five of 19 patients had implant-related complications, and we found no difference in the outcomes between idiopathic and nonidiopathic patients.

Keywords: PAEDS; distraction; early onset scoliosis; growth; magnetically controlled growing rods; orthopedics; scoliosis; spine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Magnetics*
  • Male
  • Osteogenesis, Distraction / methods*
  • Postoperative Period
  • Radiography
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Scoliosis / diagnosis
  • Scoliosis / surgery*
  • Spine / diagnostic imaging
  • Spine / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome