A magnetically controlled rod inserted along the spine helped correct scoliosis in the first two children in a case series, researchers in Hong Kong found.
In the two patients, the mean degree of scoliosis before implantation of the device was 67°, decreasing to 29° two years later, according to Kenneth Man-Chee Cheung, MD, from the University of Hong Kong, and colleagues.
The length of the spine increased by 1.9 mm with each noninvasive magnetic elongation of the rod, the researchers reported online in the Lancet.
Lateral curvature of the spine in children can be disfiguring and can interfere with breathing capacity. Traditional treatments have included spinal fusion and the use of braces.