Stainless steal rods and screws are used in the common scoliosis surgery known as instrumented spinal arthrodesis. However, the stainless steal implants may expose patients to dangerous levels of toxic chemicals, say scientists.

The researchers conducted blood tests on three groups of people. Group 1 included 30 patients who underwent spinal arthrodesis for scoliosis. Group 2 included 10 individuals with scoliosis who did not have surgery. Group 3 included 10 people without scoliosis.

Results revealed that “elevated above normal serum chromium levels were demonstrated in 11 of 30 (37%) group 1 participants. Elevated serum chromium levels were demonstrated in 0 of 10 participants (0%) in group 2 and 1 of 10 (10%) in group 3.”

The article concludes that “this new finding has relatively unknown health implications but potential mutagenic, teratogenic and carcinogenic sequelae. This is especially concerning with most scoliosis patients being adolescent females with their reproductive years ahead.”


Spine – April, 2010;35:967-74

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