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Comparison of traditional growth rods and magnetically controlled growing rods in early-onset scoliosis: a case-matched mid term follow-up study

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Early-onset scoliosis (EOS) has always been a challenging situation for spine surgeons. The aim of treatment is to control the direction of curve progression to allow for the complete development of lungs. Among all the growth constructs available, traditional growth rods (TGR) and magnetically controlled growth rods (MCGR) are most widely used. The MCGR has been introduced a few years back and there is a dearth of long-term follow-up studies. The purpose of this study is to compare the effectiveness of TGR and MCGR for the treatment of EOS.


All patients of EOS managed with either TGR or MCGR were included in the study. The patients managed with other methods or having follow-up < 2-years were excluded from the study. A total of 20 patients were recruited in the MCGR group and 28 patients were recruited in the TGR group. Both groups were matched by etiology, gender, pre-operative radiological parameters, and complications including unplanned surgeries.


The mean age in our study was 7.90 years in the MCGR group and 7.46 years in the TGR group. The mean duration of follow-up in the MCGR group was 50.89 months and in the TGR group 94.2 months. Pre-operative cobb’s angle in the coronal plane and T1–S1 were comparable in both groups with a mean cobb’s angle of 65.4 in MCGR and 70.5 in TGR. The mean T1–S1 length in the MCGR group was 36.1cms and in the TGR group was 35.2 cms (p = 0.18). The average increase in T1–S1 length was 1.3 cm/year in the TGR group and 1.1 cm/year in the MCGR group (p > 0.05). The TGR patients underwent 186 open lengthening surgeries and 11 unplanned surgeries for various complications. The MCGR group has 180 non-invasive lengthening with only 4 unplanned returns to OT for various causes.


The curve correction was similar in both TGR and MCGR groups. The average T1–S1 length achieved on final follow-up was similar in both groups. The MCGR patients have attained similar correction with fewer invasive procedures and lesser complications compared to the TGR group.

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Correspondence to Anuj Gupta.

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Gupta, A., Srivastava, A., Pandita, N. et al. Comparison of traditional growth rods and magnetically controlled growing rods in early-onset scoliosis: a case-matched mid term follow-up study. Eur Spine J (2024).

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