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lrt6131
09-12-2005, 10:07 AM
I had my surgery in 1981. I immediately stopped riding rollercoasters & gymnastics since my doctor said no contact sports were a limitation. Now that I have children I am wondering if I could possibly do these things. My parents were very overprotective. Anyone have updated info on what you can/cannot do with Harrington rods?

LindaRacine
09-12-2005, 11:47 AM
Hi...

You'd probably get a different list from every surgeon. Most seem to say there are few or no limitations if you're not having pain. You should know, however, that you're at much higher risk of deterioration above and below the fusion, than people with "normal" backs. Participating in things like riding rollercoasters puts more stress on the areas above and below the fusion.

I personally love rollercoasters and white water rafting, but gave up both since my surgery. :-(

Regards,
Linda

Ken
09-20-2005, 10:24 PM
Hi there, All my doctor told me was not to do horseback riding and play contact sports... Otherwise, I was free to do most anything - I even played sports like basketball and baseball, I also used to go rollerskating & water skiing, etc!! If you haven't done things in quite a while, you may want to get your doctors ok, perhaps get an xray just to make sure!?

Good luck!! :)

CurvySAT05
09-21-2005, 03:20 AM
I would be really careful about the gymnastics. My doctor told me of a patient he had who just wanted to jump on the trampoline at her friends house and ended up breaking her fusion rods and all. Didnt go to see him for a couple months and by that time fused crooked again where the site of the break occured. I would think that gymnastics is trampoline multiplied by like a million. My doctor told me DEFINATLY NOT, DONT EVEN THINK ABOUT IT!!!

shelley
09-21-2005, 09:23 PM
I also have been wondering what athletic activities would be safe for a person with Harrington rods and a stable fusion. I go to the gym three days per week, but I think it would be fun to try something different. My trainer has discouraged me from participating in any sport that only uses only one side of your body, such as golf or tennis. I tried ice skating a few years ago (with padding and wrist guards), but made very little progress. I found that balancing on my left foot was close to impossible as a result of my rotated rib cage. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Ken
09-22-2005, 11:10 AM
I also have been wondering what athletic activities would be safe for a person with Harrington rods and a stable fusion. I go to the gym three days per week, but I think it would be fun to try something different. My trainer has discouraged me from participating in any sport that only uses only one side of your body, such as golf or tennis. I tried ice skating a few years ago (with padding and wrist guards), but made very little progress. I found that balancing on my left foot was close to impossible as a result of my rotated rib cage. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Hi Shelley - When I was younger I used to take long scenic bike rides, vollyball (even at the beach), or wallyball which is vollyball in a raquetball court, and even basketball... (but as Linda cautioned, Check with your doctor).. Not everyone has the same limitations!! :D

staceyb
10-10-2005, 10:27 AM
Hi all! I am new to this thread and was interested in this topic of activities with Harrington Rods. I had my surgery in 1979. The surgeon also gave me the information to avoid contact sports and things like gymnastics, which I have done. However, that has not stopped me from being incredibly active. I scuba dive (and carry all my gear); I actively participate in triathlons (swim, bike, run) in all distances from sprint to half iron man; I do resistance weight training and yoga and just about anything else. I find the key is to keep strong and flexible and to keep my weight down. When I had a period of increased weight and reduced activity, I found my pain to be increased. Since I have managed to stay active and maintain a good weight, my pain is at a very manageable level. I do agree with the one poster to get an updated x-ray and stuff from the doctor just to be safe. However, I find that I am my best barometer with respect to activity. And, it seems, the more active I am, the better the pain is and the better I feel. Good luck!

medicgirl77
10-11-2005, 02:03 AM
I was told when I had my first surgery in 1992 that I would be able to all things that a normal teenager could do after surgery, and I could. I was involved in dance, drill team and everything you could possibly imagine. I had severe scoliosis (two curvatures both exceeding 45 degrees) and I was told by my doctor after my first fusion to do whatever felt comfortable. I have riden rollercoasters, went horseback riding and tried to live as normal a life as possible given my limited mobility. I have since had to have one more surgery, due to some problems with my discs but it had nothing to do with my lifestyle. I have even become a paramedic and lift and move people for a living! As far as breaking the rods and that kind of stuff goes, it is nearly impossible unless you have some severe impact, etc. and that will usually cause the vertebrae to be damaged before the rods will break. If I have one bit of advice for anyone who has had the same fusions I have had (Harrington rods from t-2 to l-3) is live your life to the fullest and do what YOU feel comfortable with. I have to admit my fear of skydiving and such has a lot to do with my back and you won't find me playing football anytime soon, but PLEASE don't be afraid to do the things that make you smile like riding horses or rollercoasters. You miss out on so much if you do that! =)

sweetness514
10-11-2005, 02:18 PM
Breaking rods without having much impact is VERY possible, as it has happened to many people who post here and such as myself, and I don't think the vertebreas need to be damaged. Screws coming loose can also happen very easily, so I don't want people to be unclear about that.

That doesn't mean that if one doesn't experience that much or any pain doing physicval activities that they shouldn't do so, just want to clarify the misconception about broken hardware and as many orthos have told me that with a higher activity level, comes risk(such as DDD as well), like in anything.

Oh, and I'm not overweight and exercise daily, since I know weight gain is not good but not always a factor of having revision surgeries and "bad luck", as some would say. Again that's a view of seeing things, as some orthos consider the ones to not have revision surgeries or any type of problems down the line to be the "lucky" ones.

LindaRacine
10-11-2005, 03:47 PM
I have been told that impact cannot break a spinal rod, and that it would take something like a person being sliced in half to break it. It is possible, and happens occasionally, that rods can break because they are bent back and forth over a long period of time, if the spine does not fuse in one or more spots.

--Linda

jojohull
10-14-2005, 11:23 AM
Hi
I did High impact step at our local gym, as well as weights and coped very well.
As Linda pointed out 'high impact can cause more damage above and below the fusion' - I'm seeing that now with limitations and pain.
I had my op way back in 1975 and I'm nearly 48. It takes me a good hour to 'come round' in a morning after taking my painkillers.

Courtney Bannon
10-28-2005, 08:41 AM
I had read a lot about the no-contact-sports warning, etc.

8 years ago when i had my surgery, my doctor told me that he thinks it is okay to do whatever you feel like doing because the rods are very strong. I went back to dance classes almost immediately after my surgery, and it helped me to recover.

I just finished my degree in dance. I have been on many roller coasters since my surgery.

My fusion is pretty short (T3-T12), so that's why I can do so much stuff......but my doctor did say that it was his policy for all patients.....that the rods shouldn't interfere with your dreams. Do what you want....chances are things will hold.