A new therapy, Magec rods, is likely to help children suffering from curved spines. This was tested on dead bodies and pigs and seemed to have delivered positive results. Experts, however, have their doubts. They said that these rods snap very easily and approval was given without looking for more evidence. Nuvasive, the manufacturers, said that the risk in the treatment of scoliosis has been reduced by these Magec rods, which apparently help in straightening the spine.
A kid from California named Anthony Wainess suffered from a severely curved and twisted spine from scoliosis. The Standard treatment procedure involves surgery that inserts metal rods around one’s spine in order to straighten it. But this also means that the patient has to undergo operations after every 6months as the rods have to be lengthened with the growth of the patient. Magec rods can be lengthened with the help of magnets while they are still inside the body. The now 14-year-old kid was given the comparatively cheaper and safer Magec rod treatment in 2013 as his father Steven didn’t want his kid to go through the trauma of repeated surgeries. But one year after treatment, one of the Magec rods snapped inside him. It was replaced but after a year, it snapped again. The rods were then permanently removed, which raised questions about the treatment.
Use of Magec rods was approved in Europe 5years before it was done in the US. UK’s NICE recommended its use in 2014 but soon after surgeons from northeast England raised concerns about it. Dr. Mike Gibson, who inserted the rods into 10 kids do not seem to believe that they work properly. He sent rods back to Nuvasive for analysis but found no answer. Newcastle University engineers, with Prof. Tom Joyce as their leader, then discovered how these rods had leaked titanium metal debris into kids’ spines, the long-term effects of which isn’t known yet. 80 out of 100 rods didn’t seem to lengthen as expected and even seem to be more prone to snapping with extension. MHRA of UK didn’t comment on the situation because of confidentiality reasons. Graeme Tunbridge acknowledged the decision-making process that underlines an implant surgery.