Revolutionizing scoliosis care

Published On 04/07/2015

Last year, Le Bonheur/Campbell Clinic Pediatric Spine Center became one of the first in the country to offer Magnetic Expansion Control (MAGEC) for children with scoliosis. The device allows surgeons to straighten a patient’s spine gradually and non-invasively – a stark alternative to traditional growing rods, which require surgical procedures every six months to lengthen the rods and correct the spine’s curvature.

Magec deviceWhen 13-year-old scoliosis patient Jasmine McGaughy’s curvature reached nearly 60 degrees, Orthopaedic Surgeon Jeffrey Sawyer, MD, recommended MAGEC. Jasmine underwent MAGEC implantation in June 2014. Since then, she’s had two adjustments, or lengthenings, in Sawyer’s outpatient clinic. Unlike traditional growing rods that require surgery as often as every six months, Jasmine’s lengthenings have been less-invasive . Sawyer glides a magnet over Jasmine’s back to expand the rods by millimeters at each visit, gradually straightening her spine.

The technology is allowing surgeons to improve kids’ quality of life, says Sawyer. MAGEC allows patients like Jasmine to undergo treatment without surgery, overnight hospital stays or even an incision – and with less radiation exposure. In fact, they can return to school the same day as their expansions.

“We know from studies the anxiety level of families increases every time they’re in the hospital. With MAGEC, kids can undergo an adjustment without having to stay overnight at the hospital. They can go right back to school and be kids,” said Sawyer.

MAGEC also saves families the cost of missed work days. With traditional rods that require frequent surgeries, families often have to take extended time off from work.