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Thread: harrington rod information

  1. #1
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    Nov 2005
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    Post harrington rod information


    ] I had surgey in 1988, I have been fighting with pain for approx. 10 years with no relief. I have tried pain med. exercise, rest , more exercise. I am wondering about the harrington rod and if there has been any court cases against the maker. Flat back snydrome is now starting. This is caused by the harrington rod. anybod with any info please reply

  2. #2
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    Nov 2005
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    Blandon, Hi. I had my operation in 1966 and my pain only started in 1997 so I had a pretty good run didnt I. Strange you should ask that question about legal action against the maker, as I have gotten to the stage where I was thinking of exactly the same thing. I know Harrington himself must have passed away by now, but I will be extremely interested in any information you get as well. I had a very bad curve of 85 degrees and if I had not have had the operation I would have died so under those circumstances I dont know whether any legal action would be viable or not. I know how you feel though.
    I feel like screaming at times with the pain 24/7. I unfortunately havent had revision surgery as I didnt even know you could have revision surgery, just something my doctor forgot to tell me all those years ago. In 1997 he did say they could take the top couple of inches out but that wouldnt have done any good at all as he couldnt guarantee me that would stop the pain anyway.

    I was fused from T4 to L3 and have two rods in my back Harrington of course. Anyway lets see what infor we get on this eh! There are so many many people exactly like us feeling exactly the same pain, it really is terrible.

    Regards
    Rainie.

  3. #3
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    I'm curious to know when they stopped using harrington rods. I was supposed to have surgery in '89, but delayed it until I had some type of pain in '97, greatest decision I ever made.

    Rainie if you have pain in a specific area(like the top of the rods), a test with a cortisone shot could see if that is a problem, and you could have that part taken out, there are always options for pain. You just need to know what the source of the problems are.

  4. #4
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    Sweetness...

    Believe it or not, many countries still use only Harrington rods. While there are still some doctors in the U.S. who use Harrington rods routinely, C-D rods were being used in the U.S. starting around 1985. The issue of sagittal plane problems was coming to light in the early 80s.

    --Linda

  5. #5
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    Nov 2005
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    Hi sweetness. I have tried absolutely everything including cortisone I should have said that eh. I have had facet joint injections, epidurals injecting anaesthesia, hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, excersises, normal injections with anaesthetic, everything that is imaginable I have tried and nothing helps. I am also on very very strong meds and supplosed to take more that I do but I take only 4 - 10 mg a day as I think the body can get used to medication and then it needs more and more.

    Most of my pain to date has been in the lumbar area and it has been only over the last few months that I get the really arghh pain from my spine near my shoulder blade area, probably around T7-T9. There are no doctors that I know of that do revision surgery here in Aussie, but the doctor who did my op before he retired told me that the rods had sort of been in there too long now with the bone and calcification and stuff which meant they couldnt operate anyway, couldnt really understand what he meant but took his word for it.

    I know I am not the only one as I said before it is unbelievable how many people are in the same predicament. So glad you waited until 1997 for your op.

    Kings regards
    rainie.
    Last edited by rainie; 12-04-2005 at 05:36 PM.

  6. #6
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    Hi again Rainie,

    I'm not an expert, but the shoulder blade pain could be bursitis, or the hook that could be taken out, but maybe what your ortho said was true and it would be difficult to take it out. Second opinions are always good, I know it's hard to find one and a good ortho.

    I do have problems with my instrumentation, one rod is broken(that's what we know of now and I have to get surgery for it next week), maybe other problems too and from what I have read a lot of people here have DDD, broken hardware, etc and they have the new instrumentation put in, so I guess Harrington rods are not only to blame I was told by my new ortho that I must have had Titanium put in, and a lady that had the same surgery like me around the time I did with the same ortho told me she has Titanium, but will know next week once they cut me open, hehe. I do not regret waiting for my surgery, I always say to wait to have some type of pain that can't be managed, since the fusion can bring other types of problems later on for many. No easy solution, it's a pain I know

    Good luck to you.

  7. #7
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    Nov 2005
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    Hi sweetness 514,

    Well good luck with your operation next week `I will be praying for you. I am so sorry you have a broken rod already, gosh they have only been in for a few years as well havent they. I hope I got it right you had your first operation in 1997?

    I think the pain up the top in the middle of my shoulder blades is the hook, but honestly I know I am not the only one and my heart really does go out to all the others in the same predicament, it really makes me so sad.

    As I said all the very, very best and I will really be thinking of you,

    Kind regards
    Lorraine. (rainie)

  8. #8
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    Nov 2005
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    Rainie,


    I looked into this last year and found a report that the harrington rod that I have was recalled or stopped being used in 1991. Do to the fact that it caused flatback snydrome. But now I can't find that report. I have been diag. with flatback snydrome not that I wasn't having enough fun as it was. But at least I now know that it was not just in my head as several doctors have stated. so now I am not crazy, just painfully crooked.
    I have tried all types of pain relief. If another dr. says more exercise I think I might choke him. I will soon start looking better than mr. america
    let me know if you find anything out.
    I did find a flatback report @ espine.com

    thanks
    Last edited by blandon; 12-05-2005 at 09:22 PM.

  9. #9
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    Nov 2005
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    Hi Brandon. I think a few of us had the type of Harrington rod that causes flat back as that seems like one of the diagnoses for so many. I cant believe that your doctors actually thought it was in your head, your poor thing, just to go through the indignities of going to a physc when you knew you were not imagining things.

    There is revision surgery you know for flat back. there has been quite a few people had that done and it has been very successful.
    I have looked for litigation against the makers of Harrington rods but there has been none, and that has probably been because they thought they were doing the right thing for us at the time and they really were, werent they. Otherwise I know I would have died due to the heart and lungs not having enough room etc.

    I know how you feel as far as the pain goes, it does help though doesnt it to know that you are not alone.

    Kind regards
    Rainie.

  10. #10
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    Nov 2005
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    hi, I just found a site
    feistyscolioflatbackers it is group @ yahoo.com
    it has alot of infomation. Worth checking out.
    I also found that article I was talking about. It says that patients from 1960 to 1990 are developing flatback. The Dr. had to know by 89 there was a problem. Why haven't I heard anything about this from any doctors until know? This is what I need to find out.

  11. #11
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    Nov 2005
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    Thanks Brandon, could you give the the internet address of the site please that I can look up that article as well about patients developing flatback.

    Thanks
    Rainie.

  12. #12
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    Northern California
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    Hi Rainie...

    I have links to internet sites about flatback:

    http://www.scoliosislinks.com/FlatbackontheInternet.htm

    As well as links to published papers about flatback:

    http://www.scoliosislinks.com/Flatback.htm

    Regards,
    Linda

  13. #13
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    Nov 2005
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    Thankyou so much LindaRacine, I just want to thank yourself and others on this site who are obviously so very, very caring. You have all been so helpful to me and I just wanted you all to know how very much I really appreciate it.

    Hugs to all of you
    Rainie.

  14. #14
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    Glad we've been able to be helpful. :-)

  15. #15
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    Apr 2005
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    913
    Quote Originally Posted by rainie
    Hi sweetness 514,

    Well good luck with your operation next week `I will be praying for you. I am so sorry you have a broken rod already, gosh they have only been in for a few years as well havent they. I hope I got it right you had your first operation in 1997?

    I think the pain up the top in the middle of my shoulder blades is the hook, but honestly I know I am not the only one and my heart really does go out to all the others in the same predicament, it really makes me so sad.

    As I said all the very, very best and I will really be thinking of you,

    Kind regards
    Lorraine. (rainie)
    That is really sweet, thank you

    I'm discouraged that the rod broke after only 6 years, especially since my recovery was long and I was getting used to this hardware, and my new pain free back It's my third surgery in 8 years, as I had the hook you're talking about taken out the year after my op, but that was really easy, only an hour and I didn't have to give my blood like I did again now, I'm so drained I was pain free for those 6 years after they took out the hook, but now it's back and at about the same place as you. The ortho will also check that out and he thinks it MIGHT be a loose screw, I'm telling you it feels like all the hardware is falling apart in the last few months, and they will also check if I don't have pseudarthrosis. Anyways, at least I will be checked out for all of that.

    I agree with you about having problems post op, it's hard to tell if it happens a lot, but from the peole I know IRL and what I read on forums, we're a lot. It's hard to tell by statistics on info links or scoliosis books, as all of their predictions and percentages are different

    Well, thanks again for the kind words, hope all goes well for you too.

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