New procedure transforms treatment for scoliosis
One of the most major advances in surgery in the last decade, says top surgeon.
A new way to treat young scoliosis patients recently introduced at Addenbrooke’s hospital in Cambridge has been hailed one of the most major advances in surgery in the last decade by a top surgeon at Cambridge University Hospital.
Surgeons at Addenbrooke’s deal with around 100 scoliosis cases a year, with younger patients often undergoing multiple operations to insert growing rods to straighten the spine and then lengthen them as the patient grows.
This could become a thing of the past now, says John Crawford, consultant spinal surgeon at Addenbrooke’s. A new procedure that has transformed treatment for scoliosis patients involves the insertion of two magnetic Magec rods into the spine in an initial operation. The rods can be lengthened without further surgery using a magnetic device in the outpatient clinic, with the child fully awake.
The procedure – where the rods are lengthened by between 3mm and 10mm at each clinic visit at three-month intervals – gained approval from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) last year.
“The new procedure is much kinder for both the patient and parents,” said Crawford. “It reduces the risks associated with repeated operations such as infection, quicker recovery and avoids multiple readmissions into hospital for further lengthening operations… And you don’t have to have repeated operations through the same scar.
“[This is] probably one of the most major advances in scoliosis surgery in the last eight to 10 years because it’s avoiding all of those repeated operations.”