Tag Archives: early onset scoliosis

Magnetically Controlled Growing Rod System Offers Nonsurgical Distraction for Early Onset Scoliosis

U.S. News & World Report Best Children's Hospital - Orthopedics, 2015-2016A magnetically controlled growing rod system (MAGnetic Expansion Control, MAGEC™) was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for treatment of early onset scoliosis in February 2014. Used in Europe since 2009, MAGEC provides a nonsurgical distraction alternative to conventional growing rod systems. Douglas Armstrong, M.D., Penn State Hershey Bone and Joint Institute, and chief of pediatric orthopaedics, Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital, specializes in treating pediatric scoliosis, and welcomed the new device, explaining, “We currently have 11 patients who have a MAGEC system in place for treatment of early onset scoliosis. The expansion is performed in the clinic every three months, as an office visit.” Continue reading

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An “Old-Fashioned” Treatment Gains Modern Momentum: Serial Casting for Infantile Scoliosis

AP spine age  eight months

X-ray at eight months and 45 degree angle

Douglas Armstrong, M.D., Penn State Hershey Bone and Joint Institute, has taken a serious second look at serial casting for infantile scoliosis and found reason to pursue its use for his own patients. “Just ten years ago, the technique was largely rejected by U.S. physicians, who regarded it as ineffective. But patients with early onset scoliosis, meaning those who develop scoliosis before age five, face grim long-term outcomes if not treated.” Serial casting seemed to Armstrong a reasonable option.

“Many surgeons believe that infants with scoliosis onset don’t do well with brace treatment. Apart from casting, the only other option is surgical intervention,” explains Armstrong.

Inadequately corrected infantile scoliosis leads to chest wall deformities, poor lung development, and higher rate of early adulthood mortality; therefore, physicians have begun to use more aggressive treatment approaches. Typically, Armstrong and his Penn State Hershey colleagues may treat twelve or more cases of early onset scoliosis per year.

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