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First surgery using new solution for life-threatening spinal deformities carried out at Birmingham Children’s Hospital

Press release   •   Jul 25, 2012 17:42 BST

A pioneering surgical procedure to correct and maintain life-threatening spinal deformities in young children was performed for the first time in Europe at Birmingham Children’s Hospital today (25 July 2012).

Performed by Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Royal Orthopaedic Hospital Orthopaedic Consultant, David Marks, the new procedure uses the SHILLATM Growth Guidance System, the first of its kind specifically designed for a growing child with early onset scoliosis (associated with curvature of the spine).

Developed by Medtronic, the device allows natural growth and deformity correction of the spine, helping to minimise the number of surgical intervention. On average, surgical treatments for scoliosis requires the patient to undergo repeated surgery every six to nine months to lengthen the devices implanted into the spine.

Mr Marks, who has been closely involved with the development of the SHILLA™ device, said:

“I’m really pleased that the SHILLATM Growth Guidance System has been given a European Certification of approval. This means I can offer a new method of treatment to my patients and the new technique gives me control to guide the growth of the curved spine in young children without having to surgically intervene every six to nine months.”


For further information contact Gaby Insley, Head of Communications, 0121 333 8521 or


Notes to Editors:

  • The SHILLATM system received CE (Conformité Européenne) marking earlier this year which means it is now commercially available in Europe as a treatment option for young children with early onset scoliosis.
  • The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust one of the leading orthopaedic centres in Europe, and as well as providing routine treatment such as hip and knee replacements to patients from across the West Midlands, it also provides specialist spinal and bone and soft tissue cancer services to patients from England, Wales and overseas.

Birmingham Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust provides a comprehensive service to children, young people and their families.

We are one of the leading paediatric teaching centres in the country, with international research and development in areas such as:

Our facilities include:


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