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Thread: Epidurals, MRIs, Harrington Rod

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Posts
    68

    Epidurals, MRIs, Harrington Rod

    "They" don't seem to think that severe degeneration in C5-C6 has anything to do with scoli but... where else to go but home? "They" seem to have scoliosis expertise, Sonoran Spine Center, Dr. Crandall at the head but right now I am with the P.A. and off to get the MRI.

    I read through some of the posts regarding MRI and stainless steel in ones spine. I'm a scoli girl, fused at 15, Milwaukee brace before. I have one Harrington rod with hooks, from 1979. You think we could get some volunteer radiologists on here to answer questions about heat, Harrington rods and MRIs?

    It's bizarre to think that some of us thought we were threw with all of this yet here we are, in one form or another dealing with pain and with our spines, yet again.

    I will call the imaging place tomorrow but it sure would have been nice to have an expert, arranged through NSF, to be here from time to time to field these concerns.

    Signed,

    Former chapter head, Washington State, NSF

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

    I'm not sure what exactly you have a question about, but you can definitely have an MRI with your Harrington rod. It will not heat up (at least not to a level you can feel). The only negative is that the images won't be readable right in the area of the rod.

    --Linda

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Posts
    68

    MRI Harrington Rods

    Hi, Linda. I did the humane thing and pre-visited the MRI center and talked to a technician/radiologist. She said stainless steel Harrington Rods are non-ferrous and that they have never had a problem.

    Some of the posts out there were a little scary and they weren't definitive to a layperson, e.g. metal is metal. Stainless steel is metal, ah but it is non-ferrous metal so should be okay.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Fernley, Nevada
    Posts
    352
    ck43,
    As a patient that had Harrington's (steel) and the newer Titanium rods, and having had MRI's with and without contrast, CT Scan, X-Ray I can tell you that the fear you seem to be voiceing about your rods "heating", is not an issue.

    By the sound of your post, you seem unhappy with the care you are recieving from your doc. Perhaps you should consider getting a second opinion?
    SandyC

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Euharlee, Georgia
    Posts
    449
    I have a steel rod and had an MRI done this summer. I am sensitive to movement, so the vibration bothered me some. I had mine done for above my fusion and when they got to the top of my rod, it caused distortion. It is kind of like been at a very loud concert. If the vibration from speakers does not bother you, then you will be fine.
    T12- L5 fusion 1975 - Rochester, NY
    2002 removal of bottom of rod and extra fusion
    3/1/11 C5-C6 disc replacement
    Daughter - T7 - L3 fusion 2004

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    CENTRAL FLORIDA
    Posts
    21

    Yanking Out Pcs Of Metal

    Is there any truth in the rumor that the MRI machine PULLS on metal? I heard that an MRI machine pulled a patient's steel gurney crashing across the room at ORMC. THe staff was picking on a 'know-it-all' nurse and set her up for this joke. I tried to have an MRI done directly over my stainless steel rods in the late 90s and suffered from quite a bit of discomfort afterward. Later I found part of my TSRH apparatus was loose. And don't you guys watch "House"? In one episode a patient had a pin in her arm and he suggested giving her an MRI. But they remarked that the MRI would rip the pin right out of her arm. Was that just television drama sounding "OH SO RIVETING"? What've the rest of you got to say?
    Is there a possible correlation between all the loose parts of these mechanisms and attempted MRIs?
    Jeralyn is Queen!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Fernley, Nevada
    Posts
    352
    Jeralyn,
    "House" is TV and has nothing to do with real life medicine. The producers are interested in what makes for good ratings not informing the public about medical fact.

    The magnite in the MRI can stop your watch. You/patients are asked to remove jewlery/dentures because the metal can "blur" the picture. As someone who has had several MRI's and a couple of CT's, I can tell you that my rods were not "pulled out" or loosened.

    Was the reason you had an MRI was because you were having discomfort? Don't you think that the rod (s) had become loose (which is common)prior to the MRI and that is what one of the things your doc was looking for?
    SandyC

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