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Thread: ability to ride rollercoasters??

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    3

    ability to ride rollercoasters??

    Hello, I had 2 Harrington rods placed in my thoracic spine around 1980. Does anyone have info on whether or not it is OK to ride rollercoasters with Harrington rods?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,797
    Hi...

    You could talk to a dozen professionals and not get consensus on this sort of thing. The fact of the matter is that any activity that moves the spine, puts additional pressure on the discs above and below your fusion, where disc degeneration is a well documented problem. I personally think it's unlikely that one rollercoaster ride is going to do a lot of damage, but I would guess there's actually some small amount of risk with any given activity.

    When I had my fusion, I made the decision to give up two activities that I absolutely loved: rollercoasters and white water rafting. I can tell you that I've been tempted many times.

    Good luck with your decision.

    Regards,
    Linda

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Posts
    455
    I have no advise on that one but I must say your brave just to get on one lol....me never ever! I am a big sissy and like my feet on the ground. Now I haev a good reason to tell people who try and talk me into getting on one....and it go something like this....3/4 of my spine have been fused and the dr.'s said no more roller coaster :O( pity!
    Susan

    Diagnosed at 10, Boston brace from 11-13 yrs old.
    50* Lumbar w/ 5 centimeter shift to the left and slight rib hump...
    Surgery Date: April 15 and April 22, 2009
    X-LIF approach for disc repair L5,L4,L3,L2
    Posterior Approach for fusions L5-T5
    Dr. Fox @ Naval Medical Center Portsmouth
    Nice and straight now!!!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    360
    I've been wondering the same thing. I'm almost a year post-op. I had asked my surgeon before the surgery and he said it was ok as long as it wasn't often (say go once a year and spend the day riding roller coasters). He said it does put some stress above and below the fusion but so does almost everything else. I'm planning to try one next summer. It will be a smooth coaster though, no wooden or anything rickety.

    Michelle
    Chemist, 30

    1998- 18 degrees
    2003- 33 degrees
    2005- 37 degrees
    2006- 44 degrees
    May 2007- 47 degrees
    December 2007 - 50 degrees X-ray

    Surgery May 27, 2008
    Fused T1 to L2
    Curve corrected to 15 degrees X-ray

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    254
    At one year post op appointment I asked the Dr. about roller coasters and he said they were fine. I even said even with the warning signs about back problems and he said that the signs don't apply to me. So at 13 months post op I went to the Board Walk and rode all kinds of rides and roller coasters and decided that was not one of my better ideas, I just was not strong enough YET!!! Last Saturday at exactly 2 years to the day post op my husband took me to Disneyland and I rode every ride in the park its been two days and I am sore today but don't feel as if I did any damage, I go for my two year check in 2 weeks we will see how the x-ray looks.
    Patty 51 years old
    Surgery May 23, 2007(43 Birthday)
    Posterior T3- L4
    Pre surgery curves
    T-53degrees
    L-38degrees
    and a severe side shift to the right.
    Post surgery curves
    Less than 10 degrees
    Surgery April, 2006
    C4 - C6

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    459
    I'm 4 years post-op and as of May 2007, I've ridden all of the coasters and fast rides at DisneyWorld, including one coaster that goes 60mph on take off and has a couple of big loops (Rock 'n Rollercoaster) and another that goes very fast backwards in some parts. I've never had a problem! My surgeon said that if I wanted to do it, go for it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Posts
    416

    Unhappy

    OMG!! Just thinking of this makes my back hurt. It hurts when someone gives me a bear hug! I can't even imagine a roller coaster................
    May 2008 Fusion T4 - S1, Pre-op Curves T45, L70 (age 48). Unsuccessful surgery.

    March 18, 2010 (age 50). Revision with L3 Osteotomy, Replacement of hardware T11 - S1 , addition of bilateral pelvic fixation. Correction of sagittal imbalance and kyphosis.

    January 24, 2012 (age 52) Revision to repair pseudoarthrosis and 2 broken rods at L3/L4.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Posts
    190
    This is great! I love rollercoasters and it gives me hope that someday I'll be able to partake!

    This last weekend, I took a boat ride for the first time since surgery. Granted, it was really windy (it is Oklahoma!) and the lake was so rough. By the time I got off the boat, I thought I was going to die. I sat in the smoothest part of the boat and the driver was as careful as possible but it was still bad. I also had ridden 3 1/2 hours to the lake that morning and then 3 1/2 hours home that evening so that probably didn't help.

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