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Thread: maybe more surgery!!!!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    bendigo
    Posts
    1

    Unhappy maybe more surgery!!!!

    hi everyone,
    my name is milly and i am 31 years of age.
    i will tell you a bit about myself before i ask for your advice!
    my curve was found when i was 16, and i had surgery performed when i was 17. i wore plaster for about 5 months (i think that was how long, about that anyway) and a brace for about 6 months after that.
    my problem now is that i have been experiencing severe pain in the base of my spine. i recently went back to visit may surgeon and he has requested an MRI be done and then a decision about another operation will be made.
    the problem seems to be that the base of the spine is taking all the weight and pressure that the rest of the spine cannot take and it is causing the problems.
    firstly i am wondering if anyone has been through this (you probably all have) and how were you treated or did u have to just cope with it.
    i am really worried about the MRI scan as i have been told that it is magnets and this can be a concen.

    thanks for reading my letter and thankyou in advance for any responses.

    take care all.
    milly XXXXX

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

    Disc degeneration below a long fusion is a relatively common problem. The first free disc below my fusion (L3-L4) is blown. At some point, I'll probably have to have my fusion extended by one level. Or, if I can wait long enough, I think an artificial disc might be a possibility. I'm told by people who have had their fusions extended by one level, that the surgery is a pretty simple one in comparison to the original scoliosis surgery.

    Good luck.

    Regards,
    Linda

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    6
    Dear Milly, I'm kinda in the same boat you are. Although I was a little bit older when I had my first sugery(34 yrs. old). The dr.s told me that would be a possibility they would have to go down to my S-1 (I currently have my T-4 through L-5 fused with instruments) later if the disc got "worn out". But it's only been 4 months and they already want to do the second surgery. In my case they didn't mention an MRI ,so I'm not sure about that but that is a good point I never thought about that!!! But I do know it's better to do it now than later , the recovery is harder the older you get. I wish you the best of luck! I hope it all works out for you. Danell

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,797
    Hi again Milly...

    MRIs are perfectly safe for people with spinal implants. The only problem is that the metal (assuming that it's stainless steel) will cause distortion in the image in the area of the implants. If you have titanium implants, there will be no such distortion.

    Regards,
    Linda

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Fernley, Nevada
    Posts
    352

    Talking MRI'S

    Milly,
    An MRI is no big deal....I have had 4 MRI's with and without metal in my back. There has been absolutley no ill effects, either during or after.
    SandyC
    SandyC

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Quakertown, PA
    Posts
    4

    MRI??

    I thought you can't do an MRI if you have hardware in your back...it distorts the picture so that the physician cannot read it. I had my fusion and Harrington Rod 25 years ago and now am having terrible pain. It's apparently nerves that are pinched by the curvature. My curve is 80 degrees now...it was over 100 degrees before surgery. I just saw a surgeon who ordered a myelogram to be done so he can tell exactly where the nerves are that are causing this pain. He told me that I could have an MRI if I didn't have the rod. I'm terrified of having a myelogram because I've heard that they are painful. I'm hoping they will use sedation. Have any of you had a myelogram? And please let me know about the MRI....I would be so happy if I could have that done.
    Diane Quinlan dquinlan@fast.net

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Quakertown, PA
    Posts
    4

    MRI??

    I thought you can't do an MRI if you have hardware in your back...it distorts the picture so that the physician cannot read it. I had my fusion and Harrington Rod 25 years ago and now am having terrible pain. It's apparently nerves that are pinched by the curvature. My curve is 80 degrees now...it was over 100 degrees before surgery. I just saw a surgeon who ordered a myelogram to be done so he can tell exactly where the nerves are that are causing this pain. He told me that I could have an MRI if I didn't have the rod. I'm terrified of having a myelogram because I've heard that they are painful. I'm hoping they will use sedation. Have any of you had a myelogram? And please let me know about the MRI....I would be so happy if I could have that done.
    Diane Quinlan dquinlan@fast.net

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Quakertown, PA
    Posts
    4

    MRI??

    I thought you can't do an MRI if you have hardware in your back...it distorts the picture so that the physician cannot read it. I had my fusion and Harrington Rod 25 years ago and now am having terrible pain. It's apparently nerves that are pinched by the curvature. My curve is 80 degrees now...it was over 100 degrees before surgery. I just saw a surgeon who ordered a myelogram to be done so he can tell exactly where the nerves are that are causing this pain. He told me that I could have an MRI if I didn't have the rod. I'm terrified of having a myelogram because I've heard that they are painful. I'm hoping they will use sedation. Have any of you had a myelogram? And please let me know about the MRI....I would be so happy if I could have that done.
    Diane Quinlan dquinlan@fast.net

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    ashland, kentucky
    Posts
    3

    how do you find a Doctor?

    Hello, All, I am new here and I have harrington Rods, they have been there for 30 yrs, I have 3 & 1/2 ribs missing from birth, inwhich the Dr. said caused my scoliosis, all went well for 24-25 yrs. now all is not so good, I live in Ky, I saw a Dr. last month in Louisville, Kentucky who said my rods were stable?? for now, I may need surgery down the road, but not now, all though he also said I did have flat back syndrome? he wants to sent me for cortisone injections at my local pain center, It has been a month and I yet to have gotten an appointment, so, I believe I need another opinion, any suggestion's for a new Doctor, or help finding one would be greatly apreciated. Sandy

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Near Boston
    Posts
    22

    MRI's

    My doctor had told me originally not to have any MRI's. Then, this past year, my primary care doctor ordered one. Until I arrived at the hospital, I wasn't quite sure what test I was having (my first mistake). When I was informed that it was an MRI, I became very frightened. No amount of them telling me that it wouldn't harm anything would calm me. Finally, the doctor of radiology came in and spoke with me. He assured me that the only thing that could go wrong was the the metal could interfere with a good reading. He further assured me that I was in no danger of "cooking" which is what my other doctor had joked about.
    Anyway, I did calm down quite a bit and went ahead with the test, and nothing untoward happened. I will never be afraid again. It's awful how a few comments made (possibly off the cuff) in jest stick in one's brain and cause future problems! I am not sure if my Harrington/Luque system is stainless steel or titanium. I just know that the MRI did not do any damage. It may have been harder to read.
    I hope that this helps you with your decision.
    Best of luck to you,
    Carole
    Carole

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    ashland, kentucky
    Posts
    3
    Carole, my rods are stanless steel, and the are disigerenations, I have cronic pain all the time, thanks for your reply. Sandy

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    new jersey
    Posts
    323
    Hi,

    I'm reading all the revision to make sure I ask the surgeons whats best before my surgery.It seems that titanium is better than stainless/? should I insist he use titanium?
    CONNIE


    Surgery June 28th 2004
    fused T4 -L3
    Hip graft
    Grown 1 1/2 inches
    25/o upper T 15/o
    53/o T 15/o
    37/o L 6/o
    Dr. Micheal Nuewirth
    New York City

    August 6, 2004
    Pulmonary Embolism
    complication from surgery

    January 2007 currently
    increasing pain at the T4/5
    point irratation heardwear

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Fernley, Nevada
    Posts
    352
    I don't believe that either stainless or titanium really makes a differance. I believe that one reader (sandrabrown) said that her rod is disentragrating (sp). It's not the metal, it is her spine that is perhaps developing OA (arthritis) or a disc problem. The only big differance in the metals for surgical use is that the titanium is less likely to set off the alarms at the airports!
    SandyC
    SandyC

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,797
    There are pros and cons for both stainless steel and titanium. I would personally never try to convince a doctor who specializes in scoliosis, to use something against their will.

    Carole, I don't think Harrington rods were ever manufactured in titanium.

    --Linda

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Near Boston
    Posts
    22

    Titanium?

    Linda,
    Would the Luque be Ti?
    Carole
    Carole

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