NuVasive, a San Diego-based spinal surgery device maker, developed a new scoliosis treatment for children.
The MAGEC system includes two titanium rods with magnet technology to allow the rod to grow with the child being treated.
Rods are implanted and attached to a child’s spine to help prevent the progression of early onset scoliosis. Rods come in 4.5mm, 5.5mm, and 6.0mm diameters and are attached to the spine with at least eight titanium alloy anchors.
The goal is to help the child reach a thoracic spine height of 22 cm, a medical threshold for thoracci spine height that needs to be reached to have acceptable forced vital capacity of the lungs for their lifespan.
The rod is designed with standard lead screw and nut, as well as an actuator that contains a magnet. The magnet is controlled with an External Remote Controller (ERC). The tiny magnetic motors in the rod rotate when activated by the magnets inside of the ERC, allowing the rod to lengthen.
The system also includes a manual distractor, used to prove the rod’s functionality prior to implanting, and a wand used to locate the magnet within the rod during a doctor’s visit.
Children visit a physician every three months to have their rod lengthened. Traditional methods included back braces or surgery every six months to lengthen the rods, but this technology allows magnets to do the work.