Automated growing rod for the treatment of juvenile scoliosis

Date of Award


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering


Advisor: John G. Weber


Severe scoliosis, when detected in a juvenile, can be treated and upon conclusion of the treatment, will result in a spine with little or no curvature. However, this treatment requires the child to undergo surgery where a device known as a growing rod is implanted on the spine of the juvenile. After the initial surgery the child then returns every six months to have the rods lengthened" approximately one centimeter to keep up with the child's growth. The purpose of this project is to develop an automated growing rod system using an on-board microprocessor for treatment feedback control. The ultimate goal of the design of the automated growing rod is to limit or remove the requirement of a patient to undergo surgery for rod adjustments by the physician. Utilizing new control technology and hardware design, juvenile scoliosis can be treated in a non-invasive fashion with the efficacy that the current growing rod treatment provides, while reducing cost and improving treatment control. This study has designed and built a test automated growing rod system, demonstrated system functionality, and shown that the system is realizable in an ex-situ lab environment."


Spinal implants Research, Bars (Engineering) Research, Scoliosis in children Treatment Research, Spine Abnormalities Surgery Research

Rights Statement

Copyright © 2012, author