Children born with spinal or chest wall deformities face many serious health risks, including premature death. Now, an experimental surgery gives these kids a new lease on life. Prior to the experimental device, the only treatment was to fuse the spine, and the child would eventually end up with a chest cavity the size of a 1-year-old or a newborn, say specialists.
The titanium rib is an expandable prosthesis that's made out of titanium, It fixates to either a rib or parts of the spine, and it's to correct chest wall deformities or a spinal deformity. The titanium rib expands the rib cage and straightens the spines of children . After the initial implant, surgery is performed every four months to six months to lengthen the rib device as the child grows. When the child is done growing, this step is no longer needed. It heals, and then the child will not need anything else done for the rest of his or her life.
However research is still in the process to evaluate the long term success of the titanium rib.