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VOL. 129 | NO. 168 | Thursday, August 28, 2014

Medtronic Launches Pediatric Scoliosis Treatment

By Don Wade

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Medtronic Inc. on Thursday, Aug. 28, announced the 510(k) clearance and launch of a product designed for treatment of skeletally immature pediatric patients younger than 10 years of age diagnosed with severe, progressive, life-threatening, early-onset spinal deformities.

(Daily News File/Lance Murphey)

The Shilla Growth Guidance System is a new growth-sparing technology that allows correction of the deformity while maintaining the corrections over time, minimizing the need for periodic lengthening procedures.

This represents a change from the current operative treatments, which are distraction-based systems that require lengthening every six to nine months.

“Early onset scoliosis is extremely difficult to treat. The current gold standard technique to manage scoliosis long-term is to fuse the spine, but in children who are still growing this can have serious complications,” said Shilla Growth Guidance System inventor Dr. Richard McCarthy, an orthopaedic surgeon and faculty member at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences/Arkansas Children’s Hospital.

“We were only able to offer operations which use implants to stabilize the curve in the spine, but these frequently mean twice-yearly surgeries as a child grows. The clearance of the Shilla Growth Guidance System marks the first time we can offer effective management of the curvature of the spine while still harnessing the child’s natural growth.”

The system utilizes a unique non-locking set screw at the proximal and distal portions of the construct’s rods. This allows the rod to slide through the screw heads as the child’s spine grows, while still providing correction of the spinal deformity.

“This clearance advances care for children with early-onset spinal deformities, and for their families and caregivers,” said Doug King, vice president, president of Medtronic Spinal.

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