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RNs report use of expandable rod to treat scoliosis


Two young patients with progressive early-onset scoliosis were the first in North America to be offered treatment with an expandable magnetic rod, according to case reports in the AORN Journal.

The reports highlight the use of the magnetic growing rod as a new treatment option that does not require multiple hospital admissions with repeated general anesthetics for either noninvasive or invasive surgical procedures.

After the surgeon implants the magnetic growing rod, the patient’s family or caregivers expand it nonsurgically by manipulating it with an external magnet on a schedule designed to obtain and maintain correction while the child grows. The expandable rod helps patients maintain flexibility while correcting their spinal curvatures.

Approval for the use of the device in the two children was obtained on compassionate grounds from the Food and Drug Administration, according to a news release from the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses. Both procedures were performed after institutional review board consent and approval.

In addition to providing the patients’ case reports, authors Jane M. Wick, RN, BSN, and Julie Konze. RN, BSN, of the Shriners Hospital for Children in Portland, Ore., compared the use of the expandable magnetic growing rod to traditional growing rods. The expandable magnetic rod has been used successfully in Europe and Australia since its debut seven years ago, the researchers wrote.

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