The potential of spring distraction to dynamically correct complex spinal deformities in the growing child

Sebastiaan P.J. Wijdicks, Justin V.C. Lemans, Gijsbertus J. Verkerke, Herke Jan Noordmans, René M. Castelein, Moyo C. Kruyt*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
50 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: Current treatment of progressive early onset scoliosis involves growth-friendly instrumentation if conservative treatment fails. These implants guide growth by passive sliding or repeated lengthenings. None of these techniques provide dynamic correction after implantation. We developed the spring distraction system (SDS), by using one or multiple compressed springs positioned around a standard sliding rod, to provide active continuous distraction of the spine to stimulate growth and further correction. The purpose of this study was to determine feasibility and proof of concept of the SDS.

Methods: We developed a versatile, dynamic spring distraction system for patients who would benefit from active continuous distraction. This prospective case series evaluates four patients with exceptional and progressive congenital spine deformities.

Results: Four patients had a mean age of 6.8 years at surgery with a mean follow-up of 36 months (range 25–45). The mean progressive thoracic lordosis, which was the reason for initiating surgical treatment in two patients, changed from 32° lordosis preoperatively to 1° kyphosis post-operatively. During follow-up, this further improved to 32° thoracic kyphosis. In the two other patients, with cervicothorcacic scoliosis, the main coronal curve improved from 79° pre-operatively to 56° post-operatively and further improved to 42°. The mean T1-S1 spine growth during follow-up for all patients was 1.3 cm/year. There was one reoperation because of skin problems and no device-failures.

Conclusion: These early results show the feasibility and the proof of concept of spring-based distraction as a dynamic growth-enhancing system with the potential of further correction of the deformity after implantation.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean spine journal
Publication statusPublished - 6 Oct 2020


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Early onset scoliosis
  • Growing rods
  • Innovative device
  • Spring distraction
  • Dynamic growth enhancing correction


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