Children with early onset scoliosis can have a few difficult years growing up, as regularly scheduled surgeries are necessary to adjust the spine to keep up with growth. Dr. Richard McCarthy, an ortho surgeon at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences/Arkansas Children’s Hospital, has invented a system that can help avoid many such periodic procedures.
Medtronic, which has developed the idea into a real product, just announced that the SHILLA Growth Guidance System has been FDA cleared and is being launched to the U.S. market. It’s intended for children under 10 years of age who are diagnosed with “severe, progressive, life-threatening, early-onset spinal deformities.” The device features non-locking set screw at both ends, which allows the rod to slide through as bones grow while maintaining the necessary correction pressure.
The SHILLA system has already received European approval back in 2012 and is already in use in a number of countries.