Characterizing Use of Growth-friendly Implants for Early-onset Scoliosis: A 10-Year Update

Walter Klyce, Stuart L. Mitchell, Jeff Pawelek, David L. Skaggs, James O. Sanders, Suken A. Shah, Richard E. McCarthy, Scott J. Luhmann, Peter F. Sturm, John M. Flynn, John T. Smith, Behrooz A. Akbarnia, Paul D. Sponseller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background:Growth-friendly treatment of early-onset scoliosis (EOS) has changed with the development and evolution of multiple devices. This study was designed to characterize changes in the use of growth-friendly implants for EOS from 2007 to 2017.Methods:We queried the Pediatric Spine Study Group database for patients who underwent index surgery with growth-friendly implants from July 2007 to June 2017. In 1298 patients, we assessed causes of EOS; preoperative curve magnitude; age at first surgery; patient sex; construct type; lengthening interval; incidence of "final" fusion for definitive treatment; and age at definitive treatment. a=0.05.Results:From 2007 to 2017, the annual proportion of patients with idiopathic EOS increased from 12% to 33% (R2=0.58, P=0.006). Neuromuscular EOS was the most common type at all time points (range, 33% to 44%). By year, mean preoperative curve magnitude ranged from 67 to 77 degrees, with no significant temporal changes. Mean (±SD) age at first surgery increased from 6.1±2.9 years in 2007 to 7.8±2.5 years in 2017 (R2=0.78, P<0.001). As a proportion of new implants, magnetically controlled growing rods increased from <5% during the first 2 years to 83% in the last 2 years of the study. Vertically expandable prosthetic titanium ribs decreased from a peak of 48% to 6%; growth-guidance devices decreased from 10% to 3%. No change was seen in mean surgical lengthening intervals (range, 6 to 9 mo) for the 614 patients with recorded lengthenings. Final fusion was performed in 88% of patients who had undergone definitive treatment, occurring at a mean age of 13.4±2.4 years.Conclusions:From 2007 to 2017, neuromuscular EOS was the most common diagnosis for patients treated with growth-friendly implants. Patient age at first surgery and the use of magnetically controlled growing rods increased during this time. Preoperative curve magnitude, traditional growing rod lengthening intervals, and rates of final fusion did not change.Level of Evidence:Level II.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e740-e746
JournalJournal of Pediatric Orthopaedics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • cerebral palsy
  • early-onset scoliosis
  • lengthening interval
  • magnetically controlled growing rods
  • myelodysplasia


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