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Thread: Harr. Rod 20 years ago - now nerve blockage?

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    2

    Harr. Rod 20 years ago - now nerve blockage?

    Hi there
    I had a harrington rod put in about 20 years ago. i've been having lower back pain and severe muscle weakness in my legs for a couple of months now. finally the neurosurgeon did a myelogram and CT scan. This found a blockage. they told me it could be a tumor or cyst. A doctor friend told me to get a second opinion, that it could be something else - related to my harrington rod. He said to try an orthopedic surgeon.

    Has anyone experienced this? Of course i'm scared it's a tumor, but the fact that I have the rod makes me wonder if it is not a tumor and somehow something related to my rod.

    Any help is GREATLY appreciated!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,802
    Hi Kel...

    You need to find a specialist who has a lot of experience in treating patients with prior scoliosis fusions. Where are you located?

    Regards,
    Linda

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Tasmania
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    259
    Hi Kel, I have had similiar symptons to you for the past 9 years and I have the Harrington rods same as you.

    It could be the rods, but then you have had the CT Scan and Myelogram and they have come up with a nerve blockage.

    To get a second opinion you need to see an expert as Linda has said. I am so sorry for you, as I know what the uncertainty and how scarey it can be, in fact we all do really. This site is excellent with the support and information it gives.

    All the best,

    The above is only my opinion,

    Macky
    Operation 1966, Fused from T4 to L3, had Harrington rods inserted. Originally had an 85 degree Thoracic curve with lumbar scoliosis as well but had a good correction.
    Perfectly normal life till 1997 but now in a lot of pain daily. Consider myself very fortunate though.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    2
    Macky, what did yours end up being? Thanks for the input to both of you. I'm located in South Carolina, so I'll go ahead and look for specialts in the area.

    If anyone else has any input, please share.

    Thanks again!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Tasmania
    Posts
    259
    Kel, all they have really said is that I should have had the rods out years ago. But the point was I was never led to believe that I could get them out. Also I never had to go back to the surgeon as I have been fine up until a while ago as explained.
    They cant do a revision surgery due to the fact the rods have been in there for 40 years, only take about 2 and a half centimetres off the top of the rod and that wont help at all.
    My discs have degenerated of course above and below the fusion as they have had to do all the lifting, turning and bending all these years. They have told me though the main reason is the rod being there for so long.
    If I had known I would have had the whole lot out but you live and learn.
    I have to go to a neurosurgeon every 3 months for tests to make sure my spinal cord is ok and in the mean time, it is just day by day.
    Look for a specialist Kel and get your second opinion and I wish you all the best from there. Your rod has only been in half the time mine has , and there are some excellent doctors in America , so all the very, very best.

    The above opinions are mine only.
    Macky
    Last edited by macky; 08-04-2006 at 02:59 AM.
    Operation 1966, Fused from T4 to L3, had Harrington rods inserted. Originally had an 85 degree Thoracic curve with lumbar scoliosis as well but had a good correction.
    Perfectly normal life till 1997 but now in a lot of pain daily. Consider myself very fortunate though.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,802
    Hi...

    If the Harrington rods have been in place for many years, and the pain is recent, I doubt that it's really the Harrington rods that are causing the pain. You may want to check out this YahooGroups forum:


    where there are many people with similar issues.

    Regards,
    Linda

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Euharlee, Georgia
    Posts
    449
    I had a fusion and Harrington Rod put in in 1975 from T12 to L5. My fusion continuted to grow and fused L5 - S1 on its own. 4 years ago, I was in so much pain. I couldn't stand, sit, walk, lay down, do anything to get rid of the pain. The extra fusion was pressing on my nerves. I had most of it removed and had instant relief. However there were complications with the surgery that cause me pain less than a year down the road. I have also developed problems above my fusion and am in the process of getting into a doctor that handles adult scoliosis patients.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Tasmania
    Posts
    259
    Hi guys, at the moment I really need some help as I am am nearly at screaming stage. Besides having the pain lower back as explained, the last couple of weeks I have had dreadful pain in my knees.
    So I get Xrays done and the bones there are fine, Therefore ,as I am not imagining the pain , I assume it must be something to do with my back.
    I sometimes wonder if the doctors over here are as up to date as where the other people in this forum are.
    I have been told by my doctor that he doesnt think I have flat back as the bottom of the back has the normal in sway bit ,then out to where my bottom starts, therefore it isnt flat there in the bottom part of my back. I am so confused as all the tests I have done they cant diagnose as they cant see anything.
    I am really grateful to these forums but just cant understand what is going on. I dunno must just be feeling a little sorry for myself today.
    Last edited by macky; 08-11-2006 at 04:19 AM.
    Operation 1966, Fused from T4 to L3, had Harrington rods inserted. Originally had an 85 degree Thoracic curve with lumbar scoliosis as well but had a good correction.
    Perfectly normal life till 1997 but now in a lot of pain daily. Consider myself very fortunate though.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    913
    I'm sorry to hear that, and I don't know what it could be or exactly what your pain is, but I had a lot of pain in my knees before and some months after surgery. It was related to my feet, they are flat and not well aligned. I got orthotics done and behold, all the pain in my knees/hips/side of legs and even some in my heels and lower back were relieved. That's just my experience and the doctors before surgery had told me that all these pains were related to my scoliosis and it was not, b/c after surgery they were still there, until I got the idea from my hubby who had similar pains who also has orthotics done from a podiatrist.

    Hope you find relief and the cause of your pain.
    35 y/old female from Montreal, Canada
    Diagnosed with scoliosis(double major) at age 12, wore Boston brace 4 years at least 23 hours a day-curve progressed
    Surgery age 26 for 60 degree curve in Oct. 1997 by Dr.Max Aebi-fused T5 to L2
    Surgery age 28 for a hook removal in Feb. 1999 by Dr.Max Aebi-pain free for 5 years
    Surgery age 34 in Dec.2005 for broken rod replacement, bigger screws and crosslinks added and pseudarthrosis(non union) by Dr. Jean Ouellet

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Tasmania
    Posts
    259
    Thankyou so much sweetness for answering my post. I am going to make an appointment to see the place over here that does orthotics.

    You sound like such a nice person, thanks again you actually made me feel better ,as no one really understands ,unless it is people who have been through it themselves. Bless you.

    Macky
    Operation 1966, Fused from T4 to L3, had Harrington rods inserted. Originally had an 85 degree Thoracic curve with lumbar scoliosis as well but had a good correction.
    Perfectly normal life till 1997 but now in a lot of pain daily. Consider myself very fortunate though.

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