Titanium vs. cobalt-chrome for scoliosis growing rods: 5 key notes


A new study published in Spine examines implant failure among early-onset scoliosis.

The study compares titanium versus cobalt-chromium growing rods for early-onset scoliosis. There were 13 patients included in the study with 42 lengthening surgeries. The procedures took place in 2007 and patients either underwent the procedure with titanium rod plus titanium connector groups or the cobalt chromium rod plus titanium connection group.


The researchers found:


1. There were implant failures in three patients in the titanium rod group because of rod fracture in two patients and connector fracture in one patient.


2. There was implant failure in six patients in the cobalt-chromium rod plus titanium connection group due to rod fracture in one patient and connector fractures in seven patients.


3. The fracture occurred twice in two patients.


4. In the study, the rod fracture rate decreased for the patients in the cobalt-chromium rods but the rate of connector fracture increased.


5. The metallic strength caused the rod to fracture when titanium rods were used and connectors fractures were most common when cobalt-chromium rods were used in a stress distribution analysis.


"Rod fractures occurred more commonly with titanium rods and connector fractures with cobalt-chromium rods," concluded the study authors.


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