Study: Magnetic Growing Rods Could Release Metal Ions into Soft Tissues

Researchers reportedly indicate that metal ions released from traditional and magnetically controlled growing rods can potentially “cause localized debris and distribute systemically to settle on distant organs.”

Magnetically controlled growing rods are most often used to treat early onset scoliosis so patients aren’t required to endure regular distraction (lengthening) surgery. Although magnetically controlled growing rods are less invasive than traditional growing rods, the metal surgical devices have been reportedly linked to serious complications, including metallosis, a condition in which metal ions affect the soft tissues surrounding metal implants. Affected patients and their families may be eligible to pursue compensation for damages with the help of a MAGEC lawsuit attorney.

If you or a loved one have been adversely affected by a potentially defective medical device, contact Attorney Group to learn about your options. We offer free, no obligation consultations. We can help answer your questions, and if you choose to pursue a claim we can connect you with an affiliated attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.

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Research Indicates Higher Titanium Levels in Magnetically Controlled Growing Rods

Research published in the peer-refereed journal Spine Deformity in January 2018 indicates that growing rods used to treat early onset scoliosis, including magnetically-controlled growing rods, “significantly release titanium and possibly aluminum.”

Fifty-two children were included in the study; their blood samples were collected between December 2014 and February 2015. Of those samples collected, 15 children had received traditional growing rods, while 22 had been implanted with magnetically controlled growing rods. The remaining 15 children had been fitted with growing rods at all and served as the study’s control group.

According to the results of the preliminary study, “serum titanium levels were found to be higher in the GR and MCGR groups in comparison to nonoperated controls.” Likewise, magnetically controlled growing rods could potentially release more titanium than traditional growing rods.

When non-operative treatment fails to correct early onset scoliosis, a doctor may recommend the use of growing rods or magnetically-controlled growing rods to correct the curve while encouraging growth of the spine, lungs, and the thoracic cage. Children who have been treated with magnetically-controlled growing rods (including the MAGEC System) are reportedly subjected to metallic exposure, which can possibly cause metal debris to settle on nearby and distant organs in the child’s body.

Complications Associated with Metal Ions from Magnetic Growing Rods

Although long-term effects of metal ion levels remain undetermined, children treated with magnetically controlled growing rods are reportedly exposed to higher levels of metallic debris for longer periods of time.

Metal particles and debris from various metal-based medical prostheses, including growing rods and magnetically controlled growing rods used to treat early onset scoliosis, may lead to an adverse reaction to the debris known as metallosis.

Symptoms associated with metallosis may include a feeling of instability, an increase in audible sounds from the implant area, and pain that was not present immediately after surgery. If left untreated metallosis may lead to other serious complications, such as bone loss and tissue death.

Metal Ions from MAGEC Spinal System

The MAGEC spinal system is a type of magnetically controlled growing rod system used to treat early onset scoliosis. Manufactured by NuVasive, a medical device company focused on developing minimally disruptive surgical products and procedures for the spine, the MAGEC system was developed to reduce the number of surgical procedures in patients who required growing rods to correct the spinal curve caused by early onset scoliosis.

Unlike traditional rods that require small, invasive surgical procedures approximately every six months, a small magnet is used to lengthen magnetic growing rods while the child is awake. While the MAGEC spinal system may be an appropriate treatment option for some patients who suffer from EOS, some reports have indicated serious complications associated with the magnetic growing rods, including symptoms associated with metal ion debris left near the site of the implanted growing rods.

How a MAGEC System Lawsuit Attorney Can Help

Medical device makers have a duty to provide safe products. If there are risks of harm associated with their devices, they also must provide adequate warnings. If a device maker fails to fulfill this duty, it could be held liable in lawsuits for injuries that may result.

People injured by a defective MAGEC System may be eligible to recover money for:

  • Medical Expenses
  • Lost Wages
  • Pain and Suffering

The families of those killed may be eligible to recover money for funeral expenses and the pain that comes with losing a loved one.