Growing Rods

Growing Rods

What is Growing Rods spinal surgery?

This surgery is required for younger patients who have a moderately severe scoliosis or complex spinal deformity which continues to worsen and is not treatable by bracing. It usually involves both the thoracic and lumbar spine. While asleep facedown, two short incisions are made at either end of where the growing rods are to be placed. Usually two custom made titanium rods with special screws and hooks are attached carefully to the spine at each end. The aim is for your child’s spine to continue to grow while the rods are in place. Spinal cord monitoring is used to keep a check on the impulses from the brain to the limbs to ensure the spinal cord is functioning normally during surgery. The surgery is a ‘minimally invasive’ procedure and as such any blood loss is expected to be minimal and the time in theatre under anaesthetic is  approximately 3 – 4 hours.

The goal of this surgery is to prevent the scoliosis or kyphosis from continuing to get worse while the spine is allowed to grow, and to gain some correction as best is possible.  The titanium rods have the special ability of being able to be lengthened regularly (approximately every six months), as your child grows. These lengthening procedures are performed mostly as a day procedure and very occasionally may require an overnight stay. It is expected that the lengthening procedures should not disrupt your child to any great extent. There is usually no need for a brace to be worn while you child has growing rods. Your surgeon will advise when it is time for a permanent surgical solution, once your child has grown sufficiently. At this time the growing rods will be removed and a final correction with different rods and fusion will be performed.

Thoracolumbar Scoliosis X-Ray
Dual Growing Rods T2-L4
Scar after surgery

The lengthening procedures usually occur every six months as your child grows. The lengthenings are performed mostly as a day procedure and occasionally require an overnight stay. It is expected that the lengthening procedure should not disrupt your child to any great extent.  Growing Rod lengthenings will cease when the surgeon advises it is time for the permanent correction/fusion surgery.


Patient and staff safety is our highest priority at Briz Brain & Spine.

For patients with appointments, if you are suffering any symptoms such as fever, dry cough, sore throat, tiredness or shortness of breath or have recently travelled interstate, overseas or been in contact with someone who has returned from interstate or overseas, or have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, please contact our friendly reception team before attending the clinic. A telehealth appointment may be an alternative method of speaking with our surgeons.

Protecting the health of our staff is vital to ensure they can continue to provide great service.  Patients are encouraged to prepay accounts over the phone prior to appointments or via payWave or other contactless payment methods. Patients are also asked to complete the Patient Details Form and sign the Privacy Policy Agreement electronically prior to their appointment. These forms can be found under our Contacts page on the website or by clicking here. Please note, patients are asked to bring only ONE support person to their appointment and maintain appropriate social distances to help reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission.

During this current outbreak of Covid-19 coronavirus we want to assure all of our patients that we will continue to implement procedures to maintain a hygienic clinical environment. This includes:

-          Disinfecting and wiping down all treatment surfaces

-          Regular cleaning of rooms and shared equipment

-          Thorough cleaning of all communal items including reception chairs, tables, door handles, pens and other shared items

-          All staff have access to infection control procedures and training to implement these as necessary

We are carefully monitoring the directions and advice of Queensland Health, the Australian Government Department of Health and the World Health Organization. In the meantime, it is still business as usual and our doors are open.

Briz Brain & Spine wishes to apologise for the inconvenience caused and thanks you for your cooperation and understanding during this unprecedented situation.