Tianyi Wang, Ning Fan, Lei Zang, Shuo Yuan, Peng Du, Fangda Si, Aobo Wang, Jian Li, Xiaochuan Kong, Wenyi Zhu

December 2022, pp 1 - 14 Review Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-022-07488-1

First Online: 13 December 2022


This updated meta-analysis aimed to compare single and dual growing rods, including both traditional growing rod and magnetically controlled growing rod (MCGR) used in the treatment of early-onset scoliosis (EOS) with regard to deformity correction, spinal growth, and complications.


This meta-analysis was performed according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines using articles extracted from PubMed, EMBASE databases, and Cochrane Library databases. Only articles reporting the complications and the imaging parameters before and after growing rods in the patients diagnosed with EOS were included. We extracted and statistically analyzed the data deemed relevant for this study, and used the Newcastle–Ottawa Scale to assess the risk of bias in each study. Data synthesis and statistical analyses were performed using R software.


Fifteen eligible articles containing 409 participants (n = 185, single growing rods; n = 224, dual growing rods) were identified. The meta-analysis found no significant differences in the preoperative and postoperative major Cobb angle, T1–S1 distance, thoracic kyphosis, and coronal balance between single and dual rods groups. The final follow-up major Cobb angle (P = 0.01; standardized mean difference, − 0.42 [95% confidence interval (CI), − 0.74 to − 0.10]; I2 = 23%) was significantly smaller in dual rods group than single-rod group. However, no significant differences in the correction rate of angle (major Cobb angle and kyphosis angle) and changes in the T1–S1 distance between the two groups were observed. Moreover, there were no significant differences in the metalwork failure, infection, or proximal junctional kyphosis between single and dual rods groups. However, total complications (P = 0.03; risk ratio (RR), 0.79 [95% CI, 0.63–0.98]; I2 = 29%) and distraction failure in MCGR (P = 0.04; RR, 0.38 [95% CI, 0.14–0.98]; I2 = 11%) were significantly lower in dual rods group than single-rod group.


This updated meta-analysis found that patients with dual growing rods had fewer complications, especially distraction failure in MCGR, than those with single growing rod. However, none of deformity correction, spinal growth, or other complications differed between single and dual growing rods. Therefore, we believe that dual growing rods do not provide strong advantages over single growing rod in the treatment of EOS.

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