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Thread: Broken Harrington Rods (Titaium)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    2

    Question Broken Harrington Rods (Titaium)

    Am wondering if anyone has experienced broken titaium rods? On 7/03 I had my first surgery to where they placed 2 rods, 9 screws, 6 fusions and 2 screws in the right pelvic. The area of the spine for rods and screws was the L1-L5 S1. 10mo to the day of 1st surgery I had a 2nd due to left rod breaking and the fusions not taking. They replaced the rod and fusions also placing longer screws in right pelvic and 2 cages in lower spine. Now on 2/05 I have now found out that a rod broke again this time on the right side lower area near pelvic yet the fusions took. I was never told that the rods may break. Was told that fusions may not take though. I thought titaium was strong? Am now facing 3rd surgery. I'm feeling very much alone for I'm hoping that others may have an imput on something like this. Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
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    6,801
    GrnEyes...

    Who was your surgeon?

    Also, I can't be sure, but if you had surgery in the U.S., it's unlikely that your rods are actually Harrington rods. They haven't been used much since the mid- to late-80's.

    Regards,
    Linda

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    2

    Question Harrington rods broken (Titaium)

    I had my surgeries at Loma LInda University Hospital, Loma Linda, California.
    I was told they were Harrington rods but were never told they could brake. I thoght this was a sturdy material for now I'm desprate for their not giving me anwsers on why?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
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    6,801
    Hi...

    Rods break when there is no fusion. It's certainly possible that you are being too active too soon. Until fusion is solid, you'll need to be certain not to bend or twist. Also, you may find that the surgeon wants to switch to stainless steel, which is a little less brittle than titanium.

    If you want a second opinion, and I'd encourage you to get one, you might try Susan Swank in Whittier.

    Regards,
    Linda

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Venice, CA
    Posts
    2

    broken harrington rods

    I was diagnosed at 12 with 69/57 degree curves.
    Harrington rods placed that year. 17 the rods both broke due to 2 spots that did not fuse. They took out rods and put in new ones. Shriners hospital/Dr William Osebold-wonderful doctor, this done when I was 18. I spent several years cleansing and learning yoga/dance/pilates. Just in the last 1-2 years I am experiencing pain...now to the point of not being able to work.....I am wondering my rods broke, or I am rejecting them, I know that I am chronically tired and suffer from chronic infections as well. I have an appointment with a doctor Pashman in LA where I currently live. I am not upset over any of this, but it seems my/our challenge to educate ourselves and know our bodies and trust them no matter what anyone says. Anyone have experience with infections/fatigue.
    Love,
    Star Kolb

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    88
    Grneyes,

    Hi my name is sarah. I also had surgery at loma linda hospital for spinal fusion. My first surgery was in 1995 when i was 14. My curviture was over 70%. I was told that i did not have any other option but to have surgery. I was also not told that there could be a chance that the harrington rod would break. I know people are saying that harrington rods are not not common but that is what was also placed in my back along with hooks. The surgery was very painful but I recovered and was told that i would be able to live a normal life. I did until 5 years later when I was 18. I was experiencing alot of pain and went in for a x-ray. They discovered that one of the rods broke. In 2000 I went in for my 2nd surgery. They replaced the broken rod and took out the upper portions of the rods. Once again they said I should be able to live a normal life. Ever since that 2nd surgery I have been experiencing alot of pain. I have gone to 10 different doctors to find out what the problem is. Not one of the dr's could figure it out. They kept saying that I looked structurly ok and then they sent me to a pain specialist. I have had numerous injections, Rizotomy? and been on pain meds for a couple years now. In march I went to see a excellent dr at Cedars Sinai by the name of DR.Pashman. I went in for my 3rd surgery to remove the rest of the rods. He thought that could have been the problem. After that surgery i was still having my pain. They did another CT Milogram scan and found that my spine at level T-10 & T-11 was not fused! For some reason from the surgery in 2000 it did not fuse properly. One week ago I went for my 4th surgery to refuse that area and they placed a small rod and some screws in. It has been misrable for the past 5 years and i am ready to be out of pain. I hope my story helps you and lets you know you are not alone. If you need any advise please ask. What is your next step are you facing another surgery? Dr.Pashman is a great dr and very well known. Hope this made you feel a bit better.

    Sarah

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    88
    Star,

    I dont know if you have seen DR.Pashman yet but I would tell you that he is a wonderful dr. He has done my 2 past surgeries. You can read my story to Grneyes that i posted. I hope he can help you like he has helped me.

    Sarah

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    2

    Spinal Fusion with Harrington Rods

    Hi,

    My name is Christy. I have Spina Bifida. I had a spinal fusion done in 1982. Harrington Rods were used. It was a two part procedure. I was told that the fusion would take about a year to fully take effect. Sometime since then, I have no idea when, part of my rod broke off and there is also something laying loose in there that looks like a washer or a nut. I have been told that it's nothing to worry about, but I have been having a lot of muscle spasms in my right leg and also a lot of pain from my right hip. I went to my PCP and she told me that the muscle spasms were from a tight tenden in my leg, but I have a feeling that both my hip pain and the muscle spasms have something to do with the rod. Please give me your thoughts.



    Chkonwhls

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,801
    Hi Christy...

    You need to be seen by someone who has a lot of experience treating patients with prior scoliosis fusions. If you're near Phoenix, you might check out William Stevens.

    Regards,
    Linda

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    2

    Harrington Rods

    Linda,

    Thanks for the tip.



    Chkonwhls

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