Europe’s new innovative solution for Scoliosis

The Spinal Deformity Service, at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Birmingham, is the first unit in the world to perform a surgical procedure using a newly completed and innovative system to correct and maintain spinal deformities, associated with life-threatening curvature of the spine, in young children.

The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, renowned for its specialist spinal unit, worked closely with Medtronic who developed the device, invented by Professor Richard McCarthy, Orthopaedic Surgeon at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. The SHILLATM system received CE (Conformité Européenne) marking, during the Spine Week Congress in Amsterdam earlier this year. The certification means the system is now commercially available in Europe as a treatment option for young children with early onset scoliosis.

This new treatment, made possible by the SHILLATM Growth Guidance System, is Medtronic’s first growth-guided instrumentation specifically designed for the growing child. It allows natural growth and deformity correction of the spine, helping to minimise the number of surgical intervention. On average, surgical treatments for scoliosis requires the patient to undergo repeated surgery every 6 – 9 months to lengthen the devices implanted into the spine. Using the SHILLA™ device as a solution to treating scoliosis will minimise the number of surgeries required; as it is based on a growth guidance system that extends as the child matures.

Mr David Marks, one of the spinal specialists to perform the surgery, has been an Orthopaedic Consultant at The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Birmingham since 1995. He said “I delivered the presentation on the SHILLA™ device at the Spine Week Congress earlier this year and was pleased that the device was given a European Certification of approval. This development means I can offer a new method of treatment to my patients and the new technique gives me control to guide the growth of the curved spine in young children without having to surgically intervene every 6-9 months”.

The SHILLATM Growth Guidance System is indicated for correction and maintenance of spinal deformities associated with patients with severe, progressive, life-threatening, early-onset scoliosis. The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital is excited about the new treatment as it will minimise the number of surgeries young children need to endure. The hospital is at the forefront of orthopaedic research and development and welcomes new innovative ways to improve outcomes for its patients.

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