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Thread: Reduced Distortion MRI Scans Despite Harrington Rods?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    4

    Question Reduced Distortion MRI Scans Despite Harrington Rods?

    Hello Everyone,

    I'm new to the group, but I've pm'd Brad about this topic and he kindly answered my question and suggested it be posted to the forum.

    Has anyone had success obtaining a readable MRI with Harrington rods? I know this question has been asked before, but I'm wondering about the specific technique discussed in these articles.

    http://radiographics.rsnajnls.org/cg...urcetype=HWCIT
    http://news.discmdgroup.com/articles...potential.html


    I was reading some articles about the 'metal artifact reduction sequence' or MARS technique that reduces the distortion caused by metal in the body during an MRI. I called one of the doctors from an article and the doctor was kind enough to speak with me about it. Basically the doctor said that the technique has been around for years and should be in use by most facilities that have later model quality machines. I asked specifically about their success with Harrington rods and was told better quality readable images had been obtained using that sequence, but of course it depends on the amount of hardware and the individual.

    The doctor also suggested that in finding a facility that uses the technique you ask the radiologist or technician specifically if they use it and not rely on administrative/front desk personnel to know if they do.

    So, has anyone had this specific MRI technique and if so to what success? Has anyone with metal rods in their back/spine had any success with MRI's? Or any success with a different type of scan? Or are x-rays the best they can really do?

    Thanks for answering and for the information I've found on this forum.
    Last edited by loldramedy; 01-22-2009 at 07:52 PM. Reason: Corrected Brad's name. Thanks for your help Brad.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Geneseo, NY
    Posts
    133
    I have had an MRI, and no one mentioned any problems reading it. If they did have trouble, I imagine they would tell me, but you never know. I included my rod in the history I provided to the imaging service. No one commented on it at all. This seems to be a regional issue, according to other posts here on this topic.
    1966 fusion in Buffalo of 11 thoracic vertebrae, with Harrington rod

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Euharlee, Georgia
    Posts
    449
    Julie -
    I had one done above my rod and had no problem. However when they came to my rod area, there was distortion. I have had CT scans without any problems. Do you go to Strong Hospital for your MRI or have they opened a facility near Geneseo. (I used to live in Lima).
    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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Geneseo, NY
    Posts
    133
    Rainbow,
    My MRI was done by Borg Imaging in Rochester, then read by various specialists including Dr. Rubery at Strong. I believe he is the scoliosis specialist in this area, but he probably does more kids. I have not connected here or anywhere with adults from the Rochester area. It is hard to believe that there is no one else, though I understand my rod was one of the earlier ones. Maybe they just don't have any problems! The symptoms I have, including meralgia paresthetica and additional sensory loss in my left leg and foot, have never been explained. Maybe the rod made my MRI hard to read, or maybe I would need a CT myelogram to find this out. My symptoms aren't severe enough to warrant surgery, especially since I am gradually walking better, so I am not currently pursuing this. Snowshoeing this winter seems to have helped increase my walking speed, and the snow has been plentiful this year.
    1966 fusion in Buffalo of 11 thoracic vertebrae, with Harrington rod

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    14
    I had CT scans that were unreadable, then recently had a successful and readable MRI done at Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    4
    Quote Originally Posted by Brooklyn View Post
    I had CT scans that were unreadable, then recently had a successful and readable MRI done at Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC.
    Hi Brooklyn,

    That's good to hear. Did you have the MRI done at the hospital itself or did they send you to a nearby independent imaging facility? If you don't mind answering, do you remember the name of the radiologist/technologist?

    I'm asking for specifics because the last MRI we had done was very difficult to evaluate due to significant artifacts. We need to find a facility that can do better.

    Thanks.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    14
    My MRI was done at HSS itself, in their radiology dept. I don't recall the tech's/MDs names, but their dept is adept at doing MRIs on those of us w/ instrumentation.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Euharlee, Georgia
    Posts
    449
    Julie -
    Strong Hospital was the leader in research for scoliosis in the 70s. I went to Dr. Devanney and his office was always full. 10 years ago, I took my oldest daughter to Dr. Jackman at Strong for a small curve that she outgrew. My doctor here in the Atlanta area was trained by Dr. Devanney at Strong. I know there used to be a lot of scoliosis patients around Rochester, but with all the Kodak layoffs, many have moved south!
    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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Tasmania
    Posts
    259
    My MRI scans and CT scans have all been distorted. My Xrays come out OK but they show very little. I have a number of problems with my harrington rods, but I know I am not alone. I wish I was sometimes as it is awful to read so many people suffering.

    Macky
    Operation 1966, Fused from T4 to L3, had Harrington rods inserted. Originally had an 85 degree Thoracic curve with lumbar scoliosis as well but had a good correction.
    Perfectly normal life till 1997 but now in a lot of pain daily. Consider myself very fortunate though.

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