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Thread: MRI with Harrington Rods

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    3

    MRI with Harrington Rods

    Hi! At 16 yrs old I had spinal fusion with Harrington Rods. I am now 28 and have been having extremly bad back pain for the last couple of years. My Primary Care doctor had told me to get an MRI and go see a Neurologist. I went this past Friday night for the MRI and in the middle of the test my back began to burn and got really hot. Also, I began to feel a lot of pressure on my chest which made it hard to breathe. I immediatly pressed the call button and had the nurse come in. What she told me was the rods in my back were heating up due to the friction of the magnet. I continued to feel a burning sensation for 4 hours after that. Not only that I have worse pain now than I did before the MRI. I nervous that the MRI could have cause additional damage to my back.

    Has anyone had this happen to them before?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,801
    Hi Kezra...

    A lot of us have had MRIs with rods attached to our spines. I've heard from a few people that they felt the rods getting a little warm, but I don't think I've ever heard from anyone saying that got hot. I wonder if you're having more back pain because you got really tense from worrying about what the MRI did.

    I'd like to encourage you to get a referral to a scoliosis specialist who has a lot of experience treating people with prior fusions. I don't know of anyone in Connecticut, but you might want to check out Dr. Oheneba Boachie. There are dozens of posts on these forums about him. (You can do a search by clicking on the Search logo above.)

    Best of luck. Hope that your pain gets better soon.

    Regards,
    Linda

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    3
    Hello Linda,

    I am actually from Mass. I will be seeing Dr. Stephen Parizan at New England Baptist hospital. I originally has surgery in '92 at Children's Hospital Boston with Dr. John Emans.

    It maybe possible that I have tensed up a little, but not to cause the pain that I am have now. I had a MRI done in '97 on the same area at the same MRI center. Nothing happened then. Hopefully Dr. Parizan can shed some light on the cause of all my pain.

    Thanks
    Keslie

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    913
    Kezra...

    I haven't had an MRI but had a tomogram and another nuclear test done this past April- and had SEVERE burning sensations for two days. Actually the night after the second test was done, I thought I would pass out from the burning, ALL of my back was burning and it took a few days of rest to calm down. Some of the pain has stayed since the tests did injure the right side a bit and am now on anti inflammatory pills and can't get online much, as well as go for certain amounts of periods without resting my back My tests were done in two seperate days and I stayed on the machine for over an hour an a half both times, so it could be understandable, especially without moving. It is frustrating since I went in with the problem of my broken rod and now have added an injury, and the tests are not even accurate 100%, sigh.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    3

    MRI & harrington rods

    I had my scoliosis surgery with Dr Pierre Labelle here in Montreal in 1966. I'm 52 years old now, have had the Harrington rod is place for almost 39 years. I've been very active, done a varitey of sports, but for the last 10 months, have experienced constant lower back pain, and pain shooting down my right leg to my ankle. I've seen Dr Jean Ouellet, as he seems to be the only one I know of that is aware of Scoliosis in kids, and holds adult orthopedic clinics. I'm waiting to have an MRI, but no one seems to know what the rod is made of..the new rods are titanium, but the old ones I'm told are made of metal. Anyone shed any light on this? I've always been told that I cannot have an MRI, but now it appears to be the only xray that will really tell me what's going on with the spine.
    Over the last 20 years, my back has been relatively ok, but did experience severe TMJ prolems with my jaw, and had knee surgery, and neck pain...all symptons basically of the non-flexibility of the back.
    If anyone has similar or had similar problems, would love to hear about them..and also about having an MRI.

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

    Older Harrington rods (maybe all HR) were made of stainless steel.

    You might want to check out the term flatback. If your lumbar spine was included in the fusion, then it's a possibility. You can read about it here:

    http://www.spineuniverse.com/display...rticle308.html

    Regards,
    Linda

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    913
    Marsha!! Hey there, fellow Montrealer, I'm happy that someone from here is posting and seeing the same orthos I have. I am now seeing Dr. Ouellette, to get surgery for my broken rod. I used to see Dr.Maurais from Sacre Coeur hospital but he doesn't seem that specialized in scoliosis, as he told me to live with the pain for now and I want to either replace the rod or have it taken out. My appointment with Dr.Ouellette is in Sept., we will schedule my surgery then after seeing him in early July and I find him very nice and attentive, but he's a busy man with 4 hospitals to take care of

    I had my first surgery in '99 with Dr.Max Aebi who is now back in his native Switzerland and opened his orthopedic hospital, he's also head of orthos in Europe. He was a good surgeon but no bedside manners. When I was a teen, Dr. labelle and Dr. Morin were my orthos, and wanted to operate on me at 18 but I backed out and waited until I was 26 when I had more pain.

    Anyway, I haven't had any MRI's done after surgeries, but had nuclear testing done(for the fusion). I have had problems with sciatica on and off as well(more before the surgery though), and used to take Vioxx before it was taken off the market and also go to acupuncture-it is very helpful for neck/arm/hand pains and pinch nerves. I have been experiencing some very annoying jaw problems(slipping), and see that you mentioned something about that, what are your symptoms? I had a Doppler exam done this March to see if I had a crushed blood vessel(don't kno how to say it in English) in my neck but it came out negative. The PT wanted me to wear a neck brace.
    Last edited by sweetness514; 07-25-2005 at 03:00 PM.

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