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Thread: 32 Years post fusion/Harrington rod

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005

    32 Years post fusion/Harrington rod

    Had a fusion in 1978 with Harrington rod inserted.

    Was 48 degrees right thoracic and 44 degrees left lumbar pre surgery.
    2 years later, was 36 and 24. Some modest improvement in the years since.

    I have carried a child to term. Sit all day at work. Regularly wear high heels. At age 51, I lift more weight than some of the men at the gym, run 3 miles 3x/week. Can hike about 20 miles. Other than once or twice after a fall, or after lugging around something that was way too heavy, I have never had any significant pain due to the surgery or the rods.

    All in all, I have less back pain than the average person my age.

    Just wanted to put a success story out there. Thank you again, Dr. Keim.
    Last edited by asuzwi; 10-14-2010 at 01:09 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Hi asuzwi - Thanks for posting your experience! As a Mom of two young girls who will like you will have rods for life I worry about issues in their future.

    It's great that you had such a wonderful outcome - that's what everyone here who faces this hopes for, and wonderful of you to share that with us.

    Thank you

    Dee - Mother of two daughters, both with scoliosis KateScoliKid (16yo) 52* Lumbar curve
    Fusion Surgery 2/9/10 T-11->L-3 @CHKD Norfolk VA
    Jes (20yo) T 3 -> L 3 w/ Kyphosis

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    I join Dee in thanking you for posting. That's a great success story.

    What's good to know is that these surgeons seemed to have solved some scoliosis cases like yours. In the case of others, they have improved instrumentation for revision which can only get better and better.

    That is the case for H-rods and for the newer instrumentation which itself will be supplanted by even newer approaches.

    These guys are geniuses. They take most comers, try to help, and often succeed.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine

    "We are all African."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Northern California
    Thanks from me too.

    When I tell people that there are plenty of people out there such as yourself, no one seems to believe me. Glad you're doing so well. Hope it continues!

    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Twain
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Thanks for posting! It's great to hear the Harrington rods you received have served you so well. Do you think you'd have had such a great outcome without your exercise regime? I do think fitness holds pain at bay to a degree.

    Sounds like you simply got a great job done by a great surgeon. Congratulations!
    Surgery March 3, 2009 at almost 58, now 63.
    Dr. Askin, Brisbane, Australia
    T4-Pelvis, Posterior only
    Osteotomies and Laminectomies
    Was 68 degrees, now 22 and pain free

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Great story! In 1975, I was close. Not Harrington rods but a Luque wire procedure. I chickened out.

    Its great to have some of the older scoli cases report. There are many of us that were there back in the 70s. I had no idea, till I started reading this forum. I thought I was the only one. Of course, that was back in the "dark ages" Glad your are doing well.

    Welcome to the forum
    49 yr old male, now 62, the new 63...
    Pre surgery curves T70,L70
    ALIF/PSA T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion

    My x-rays

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Great Lake State, Michigan


    Thanks for sharing!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    It's great to hear this! As Linda says, there are loads of people out there living quite happily with Harrington fusions but they have no cause to post on forums like this so we never hear from them, only from those who are having problems.

    I had my entire thoracic spine fused with a Harrington (with Luque wires) 24 years ago and it has caused no problems whatsoever despite me still having a 45 degree curve, and I have lost no correction at all. I'm very fit and active too, more so than a lot of my friends with normal spines.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008
    So glad to read your great success asuzwi. Thank you for putting it on here for all the read as even back then, they got some right, and that is positive.

    Operated on in 1966, harrington rods inserted from T4 to L3, here in Australia. Fusion of the said vertebrae as well. Problems for the last 14 years with pain.
    Something I feel deeply,"Life is like money,you can spend it anyway you wish, but can only spend it once.

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