A MAGEC Approach to Treating Childhood Scoliosis

Scoliosis is not uncommon, affecting six to nine million Americans. Most often diagnosed between the ages of 10 and 15, scoliosis develops in the first few years of life, so prompt and appropriate treatment is critical to ensure that affected children can breathe effectively and have a good quality of life. Read more.

"Early-onset scoliosis is not your average scoliosis, like the kind we see in teenagers," explains Michael Vitale MD, MPH, director of the Division of Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery and chief of the Pediatric Spine and Scoliosis Service, as well as the Ana Lucia Professor of Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery at Columbia University Medical Center. "It can diminish the growth of the chest and lungs and cause significant respiratory problems. If the curve progresses, scoliosis can even affect life expectancy."

"If the curve progresses, scoliosis can even affect life expectancy." - Dr. Vitale

Dr. Vitale and his colleagues recently became the first team in New York City to implant magnetically-controlled spinal rods into a young child with EOS – Jeremiah Knowlton, six-years-old, developed a 75-degree curve in his spine during the first few years of his life. Called MAGEC®, the treatment Jeremiah received involves the surgical placement of special growing rods in the child's spine, which can be adjusted every few months afterward using a remote-controlled device applied to the outside of the child's back during a routine outpatient visit.

Read more about this groundbreaking technology on page 15 of Connections.