Special spinal implants made from Nitinol - a titanium based alloy - have been studied extensively and are being employed clinically in a few centres in USA and Europe. Two well-known spine surgeons from the United States, Dr. Randal Betz and Dr. Ogilvie designed this implant. The staples are in the shape of C' when they are manufactured at room temperature. When the staples are cooled to below freezing point the prongs become straight but clamp down into the bone in a C' shape when the staple returns to body temperature providing secure fixation. These are called Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) staples. As no fusion is done the child grows normally and even the residual deformity tends to improve with growth.
This novel procedure was performed for the first time in India at Apollo Hospitals on a 6-year old girl, from a small town near Madurai by our team of surgeons.