View Full Version : Questions from a new member

06-21-2008, 12:35 PM
Hello Everyone,

I have been reading posts for days and days now. I wish I had found this site years ago.

I am a 26 year old female. I had 2 Harrington rods put in 10 years ago from T4-L2. I was experiencing a horrible gnawing, piercing pain in my right shoulder blade region (between the scapula and spine) before these rods were ever put in. About a year after surgery when I began to be much more active skiing, etc, I began experiencing that again. It is so debilitating...I can't do any dishes or cleaning, carry groceries, or any little activities without that pain. I have just been "dealing with" it....trying acupuncture, physical therapy, massage, injections and nothing has helped.

For the last two years, the rods have become painful in different areas as well. In the thoracic top region, I can feel a bulge through my skin where the metal comes through. It feels like a tight knot that is pulling in all directions. I also now feel the left rod coming through on the bottom. When I breathe inward, I have a sharp tight pain as well. I also have a lot of recent sternum pain and pain underneath the right ribcage. Does anyone else experience that?? The last few months I have been on lortab and lying down a lot. I am considering revision surgery. I went back to my original doctor and he said the rods are giving me the pain. He only gave my husband and me 5-10 minutes in his office and left without allowing us to ask the rest of our questions. I was so upset...I don't know how I'm going to keep living my life in so much pain. I know I will never be able to keep teaching or every have children since I can lift nothing without a lot of pain during/afterward.

How many of you out there have had your rods completely removed? What was the outcome? I have done some research and found some spine journals where people have had problems with re-curvatue. How many of you have had to have them put back in?

I am at the point that I'm willing to go anywhere in this country to see anyone who really knows what they're doing when it comes to revisions. I have an appointment scheduled with Dr. Sachs and Dr. Shelokov in Texas in a month. However, the threads about Dr. Shelokov and people dying scare me. I would so much appreciate to hear if anyone has the same problems I am having or has any other suggestions.

With hope,
Scolimich in Michigan :)

06-22-2008, 12:15 PM

If your fusion isn't solid, and you have your implants removed, your curve will probably return. However, if your fusion is solid, removing the implants won't make any difference, and might resolve your pain. The problem is that it's impossible to know if your fusion is solid.

If you really want the best, and are already planning to be in Texas, you might want to check out Dr. Mike LaGrone in Amarillo.

Best of luck.


06-22-2008, 03:44 PM
I can appreciate what you are saying Linda...that it why I'm so leary of what my original surgeon just told me: that I need to have the rods out and that my spine will not curve since they have been in for 10 years. He said the fusion just becomes more solid and more solid as time goes on.

After researching the whole re-curvature after hardware removal bit, I don't trust him so much. The research studies I've found conducted by Deckey, Rathjen, and Potter showed that even patients who appeared to have solid fusions upon thorough surgical exploration still had re-curvatures. So, apparently nothing is a guarantee because you can't explore "every part" of the fusion when you're in there.

I'm hoping someone will listen to what I have to say about this and not pretend like it's no big deal....I can just picture it now....I'll have it all removed and then a few years later, have to have it all put back in again. Any ideas?? Thanks again for your response. It's very much appreciated.

06-23-2008, 12:25 AM
I had my surgery May 21st this year with Dr. Shelokov, he is a great listener, and he was there in the hospital with me as well. My husband as well liked him, and he was highly recommended to us. We had no issues at all, and so far I have loved the office staff, and any time I have a problem I am able to get an answer in a matter of minutes. There are risks with any surgery, and He is very upfront with this, and even to my husband and I to our face about losing two patients last year alone, which put me into panic mode the entire week before my surgery. But he has to be honest, and my husband liked that about him, that he was NOT afraid to be real with us at every step of the way.