NuVasive®, Inc.

The MAGEC® System


This webpage is designed to inform you about the MAGEC System. It is not meant to replace any personal conversations that you might wish to have with your physician or other member of your healthcare team.

Not all the information here will apply to your individual treatment or its outcome. The information is intended to answer some of your questions and serve as a stimulus for you to ask appropriate questions about the procedure.

The MAGEC System offers a unique treatment for early onset scoliosis (EOS) by providing a noninvasive solution to manage growth and progression of spinal deformity in growing children.* The system consists of an adjustable growing rod and an External Remote Controller (ERC) that features innovative magnetic technology allowing for noninvasive control of the implanted device. Other distraction-based treatments for EOS require on-going distraction surgeries throughout treatment. After an initial procedure to implant the MAGEC Rod, the device can be distracted or retracted during routine outpatient visits. The MAGEC system is designed to reduce the impact of EOS on the lives of patients and families by eliminating planned distraction surgeries and the risks associated with them while providing optimal clinical outcomes.

* The MAGEC System is intended for skeletally immature patients less than 10 years of age with severe progressive spinal abnormalities (e.g., Cobb angle of 30 degrees or more; thoracic spine height less than 22cm) associated with or at risk of Thoracic Insufficiency Syndrome (TIS). TIS is defined as the inability of the thorax to support normal respiration or lung growth.


Depending on the severity of the scoliosis and the measured rate of its progression, there are several options for a patient, including:

Observation: Your surgeon and/or healthcare providers will monitor your child’s scoliosis over time and can determine when interventional treatment is required.

Bracing: Your child will may be prescribed to wear an external, wearable brace to control the deformity and allow for continued growth. Bracing cannot correct a deformity once it’s present, but can guide the growth of the spine, and prevent the deformity from progressing.

Casting: Serial casting is a process of slowing and correcting the spinal curve by enclosing your child’s mid-body in plaster casts. While wearing the cast, your child usually cannot bathe or get it wet, and movement can be encumbered by the weight and bulk. To adjust for changes in the curve and your child’s growth, casts are typically replaced every 8 to 16 weeks. Some casting procedures require anesthesia to be administered to the patient.

Growing rod(s): In more serious progressive cases, surgery is used to implant growing rod(s) to control the curvature in the spine. These rods are generally adjusted by way of follow-up surgeries that can occur every six months (on average), to address correction of the curve and normal growth. Clinical data shows that the complication risk increases by 24% for each additional surgical procedure performed in early onset scoliosis patients.1

Guided growth: Surgery is used to implant rods with unconstrained anchors that allow the spine to grow along the rod as your child grows. While this technique does not require postoperative distractions, it does require additional fusion levels in your child’s spine compared to the average levels fused in traditional growing rod procedures.

MAGEC: The MAGEC system uses magnetically-controlled growing rods to achieve distraction control and growth without the need for multiple planned distraction surgeries. MAGEC can provide noninvasive, controlled growth through its proprietary magnetic technology that allows the growing rods to be distracted in an outpatient setting with an External Remote Controller. Because your child is not subjected to multiple planned distraction surgeries, MAGEC may help reduce the chance of complications experienced with traditional growing rods.

1Bess S, Akbarnia BA, Thompson GH, et al. Complications of growing-rod treatment for early-onset scoliosis: analysis of one hundred and forty patients. J Bone Joint Surg Am 2010 Nov 3;92(15):2533-43.


The MAGEC system allows patients to receive the same benefits found in traditional growing rod treatment through noninvasive distractions. Planned distractions take place in an office setting and are generally quick and painless. As a result, your child is spared from planned distraction surgeries that can keep him or her out of school, away from friends, and in consistent recovery for extended periods of time. By helping reduce the anxiety, cost, and time experienced with repetitive surgeries, MAGEC helps simplify care for EOS patients and families.


The physician will review your child’s condition and explain all of the treatment options. It is the responsibility of your child’s physician to address all risks, benefits, and alternative options before moving forward with the procedure. On admission to the hospital, your child will be readied for surgery in a pre-op room. Preparation may include instruction about the surgery, information on cleansing and care of your child’s surgical site, and on the postoperative period.


During your child’s surgery, the surgeon typically makes two small incisions at the planned foundation sites. Anchors are then connected to the spine at the planned foundation sites. The MAGEC rod can be cut and bent to the desired shape, and inserted subfacially between foundation sites. The surgeon may then distract the spine along the rod to the desired amount, and the rod will be secured to the anchors at the foundation sites. If your child is having a revision procedure, the MAGEC rod may be secured to instrumentation already implanted in him or her. The MAGEC rod is implanted into your child’s spine to act as an internal brace to help minimize the progression of scoliosis, while allowing for the continued growth of your child.


After surgery your child will wake up in the recovery room, where his or her vital signs will be monitored and immediate postoperative condition will be carefully observed. Once the medical staff feels that he or she is doing well, your child will be returned to the regular hospital room. Soreness in and around the incision immediately after surgery is normal. Noninvasive distractions of the MAGEC rod(s) will be required to keep the length of the rods in line with your child’s growth. The postoperative treatment plan will include how often your child should return to the doctor’s office for these distractions.


How often will my child need distracting?
Your doctor’s treatment plan will describe how often your child should return to their office for these distractions. Patients can expect to have distractions every three months (on average) until your doctor deems the treatment complete. The distraction results may be checked with x-ray or ultrasound technology. Discuss any risks associated with repetitive x-ray exposure with your doctor. Based on distraction results, your child’s treatment plan may be adjusted.

What happens during my child’s growth?
As your child grows, the MAGEC rod(s) will be distracted to drive or follow the growth of their spine. When your child’s physician believes the growth treatment is complete, the MAGEC rod(s) may be removed. At that point, the doctor may recommend a final fusion procedure to address any remaining deformity.

What are the lifestyle changes my child may experience?
This question is best directed to your child’s surgeon and healthcare providers, as it varies for each individual.  Similarly, your child’s surgeon and healthcare providers can address the appropriate activity level for your child following implantation of the MAGEC rod, and throughout the distraction process.  It is very important to discuss this with your child’s surgeon and healthcare providers before your child engages in any physical activities.

When should I contact my doctor?
If your child feels any abnormal pain or you notice any changes in the skin around the implant, the implant may have broken or loosened. You should contact your doctor immediately in this case. Discuss any pain and discomfort your child is having with his or her physician during the follow-up visits.


Like with every surgical procedure, there exists a risk of complications associated with use of the product. For a comprehensive list of contraindications, warnings, precautions, and procedure details please consult the MAGEC Patient & Family Guide.

This information is intended for the U.S. market only.