While the use of growing rods has produced efficacy in the control of deformity within the growing spine, the surgery also has high rates of unintended autofusion, which can lead to a difficult and moderate correction, according to an article published in Spine.
Researchers conducted a retrospective review of the medical records and radiographs of young patients who received treatment for scoliosis using growing rods. The researchers collected data on complications, pre- and postoperative Cobb angles, total spine length, correction since initiation of treatment, total number of surgeries and the number of patients found to have autofusion at the time of device removal.
The rate of autofusion in the patients treated with growing rods was 89 percent. The average percent of the Cobb angle was 44 percent, and an average of seven osteotomies per patient were required at the time of definitive fusion due to autofusion.