Going to the hospital every few months for painful spinal surgery is an awful way to have to spend your teenage years, but for thousands of adolescents with severe scoliosis, it's better than the alternative. Fortunately, Irvine, CA-based Ellipse Technologies is commercializing a new, non-invasive way to treat scoliosis using magnets. Like conventional growing rod treatment, Magnetic Expansion Control (MAGEC) uses telescoping rods fixed to the patient's spine in order to brace it during growth. While conventional treatment requires the patient to keep coming back for surgery to lengthen the rods, MAGEC uses magnets and an external remote control to lengthen the rods as needed — say a fraction of a millimeter at a time. While Ellipse's site says MAGEC isn't available yet in the US, newspaper articles documenting patients' results in the UK and Australia have us looking forward to broader trials in more countries.
MAGEC: treating scoliosis non-invasively with magnets
Ellipse Technologies is commercializing a new, non-invasive way to use magnets to treat scoliosis. MAGEC, (Magnetic Expansion Control) uses telescoping rods fixed to the patient's spine in order to brace it during growth.