- (1) Aarhus University Hospital, grid.154185.c, Central Denmark Region
- (2) University Medical Center Utrecht, grid.7692.a
BACKGROUND CONTEXT: Magnetic controlled growth rods (MCGRs) are increasingly popular for surgical treatment of severe early-onset scoliosis (EOS), because they allow noninvasive extensions with good growth maintenance. We combined an MCGR with a contralateral passive sliding rod construct with apical control on the convex side to improve efficiency in terms of costs and three-dimensional (3D) correction. PURPOSE: To investigate the feasibility, 3D correction, spinal growth, and complications of the apical control MCGR sliding rod hybrid. STUDY DESIGN: Two-center retrospective cohort study. PATIENT SAMPLE: A consecutive series of 17 children with EOS from two European spine centers were treated with the hybrid principle: 13 primary cases and 4 conversion cases from other growth instrumentation. Median age at surgery was 9 years (range: 6-18). Median follow-up time was 24 months (range: 12-31). OUTCOMES: Cobb angles (frontal Cobb, kyphosis, lordosis), rotation, spinal length gain, growth rate, and complications. METHODS: Radiographs and patient files were reviewed. All the patients received fully financed treatment within the national public health-care systems. RESULTS: Mean preoperative frontal Cobb angle was 59°, reduced postoperatively to 30° and was maintained throughout follow-up. Mean rotation of the apical vertebra improved from 27° to 18°, but was partially lost over time. Kyphosis decreased and lordosis was largely unaltered. Instrumented spine growth was maintained at a mean of 12 mm per year. One child had surgical revision because of progressive trunk shift, unrelated to the technique. The same child fell and sustained T1 and T2 fractures that were treated conservatively. Another child is planned for revision because of MCGR distraction failure. CONCLUSION: These early results show satisfactory frontal Cobb curve reduction and maintenance of spinal growth after using a new hybrid concept of a single magnetic growth rod and contralateral apical control sliding rods. A single magnetic growth rod in this combination may work equally well as traditional or dual magnetic growth rods. This new concept may represent a significant gain in both cost-effectiveness of growth rod treatment and 3D correction in EOS.