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scoliosis harrington rod failure
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scoliosis harrington rod failure

Hi.
Am 41 female, in good health. Had scoliosis all my life, and had harrington rods placed in 2002. My curves were 67* by 56*, approximately, with a spiral.Now that surgery has failed and we're going to have posterior laminectomy L 4-5 fusion, Oct. 8th. I have started losing bladder sensation, and have had pain ever since the surgery in 2002. I also have a complete block at the tailbone, stenosis, and ARC.
Am just wondering and hoping I am making the correct decision about this next surgery........I swore I would never have another.
Any thoughts or comments?
Thank you.

Kris
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Avatar_f_tn
I had the same procedure done on my back  but by a group of great doctors at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio only mine was L3-5fusion with the Harrington Rods but I have the problem with loss of bladder function as I was paralyzed from the waist down due to a car accint and no dr here in the state of Texas would touch my back.  They had also put a stabalizer bar that goes from one hip to the other and attached it with screws then the fusion taking part of my right hip
I really can walk now with a walker as it took time but the incontience all came from all the nerve damage that was done.
Hope this helps,
Your in my prayers, and God bless you,
cottoncandy99
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Avatar_n_tn
I would like to talk to you. Is there a way to e-mail you. ***@**** is the e-mail.
I have harrington rods, and having problems. I've read so many problems. I will revisit this site and see if you posted your e-mail.

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292728_tn?1263240733
***@****

Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!
Krissy
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Avatar_n_tn
I don't know if this site allow you to post your e-mail address.

I would like to meet people that have the same problem as I have. Perhaps find a solution.
Thanks
d Santi
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Avatar_n_tn
I have FBSS myself and have my entire spine fused from my neck to my tail bone. Before my surgery in 1981, I had spent my entire life working in the construction field and it was and still is all I know. After my surgery, I was told by the doctor that I would have to change my career. I spent some time recooperating and during that period, I sought for finances for training in a different field but to no avail. It would seem to me that the hospital would have had information or avenues for people to continue there lives...giving direction for evaluation and rehabilitation into the job market. They did not and I found no avenues of help. I was turned down by SSD and lost my home and was forced to move in with my grandparents. I sought deligently for grants or funds or programs that would re-train me and while I was told they were available, they just weren't available to me and thousands like me. Either due to age or my grandparents being a higher middle class...basically came out of the hospital to be put out on the streets.
I eventually went back into plumbing as I was a journeyman plumber...after a few years one of my rods broke and I was disabled for a period of time until I once more returned to work and then the other broke...
I went from a 50k yr job and a great career to now living off of SSD with no compensation, no general assistance and a surgeon and hospital that offer no advice or sympathy to this life altering problem and seem to want to put the entire thing behind them. Infact I have had nothing but a lack of respect or sympathy to my condition from the entire medical field. Treated as if I am a complaining pest and a leech while my legs go to sleep and my hips and lower back degenerate. The last time I went to the surgeon for pain and numbness in my legs, I was twisted and turned and abussed as if there was nothing wrong leaving me in more pain then when I arrived. and practically in tears from the treatment.
People with bad replacement hips and knees and heart machines and even those who have used bad denture cream get compensation from the ga-billions of dollars made from these failed procedures...why not us?

WE NEED REPRESENTATION AND COMPENSATION. IF YOU AGREE WITH ME OR HAVE EXPERIENCED  LIKE TREATMENT PLEASE LET ME KNOW.

Thank you for your time.

M.D.Williams
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2082722_tn?1332263170
I too am having issues with my back. I was operated when I was 12 yrs, and had Harrington rods put in too. I know suffer chronic back pains and have many herniated disc. Has anyone heard of a class action?  
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Avatar_m_tn
I had scolosis surgery in 1983. I have harrington rod placement thru T1-T12. I 've had pain ever since. Not alot of pain down spine but all in muscles and hips, legs, shoulders and neck. MRI showed spinal cord compression which was a series of injections in neck only to end with surgery.  I just recently had cervical neck surgery which involved rods and disks between C5,C6 and C7.  Now, am experiencing a burning sensation in my right shoulder and alot of stiffness in the neck.  Had problems before turning my neck now it's even more limited.  Also suffer from right short leg syndrome.  My activities are very limited.  I have problems walking, standing, sitting and stooping for any length of time.  Sitting and typing on a computer for 15 minutes leaves me with no ability to even stand up straight. Pain medicine doesn't help. Muscle relaxers doesn't help. Applying heat and cold doesn't help.  Surgery doesn't help.  I'm just wondering what does!?? I live with pain everyday of my life and have for many, many years. Does anyone have any advice? I would like to talk to someone with similar problems.

Thank you,
Donna
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Avatar_f_tn
i would like to get a class action suit together. I had harrington rods put in when i was 13, now 41 and in serious pain.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi there,I had a Harrington Rod put in when I was 16 back in 1977 in Canada.my back was out 37%,to this day it is still curved so hadn't even really corrected the hump on my right side.
I have been seeing a chiropractor for the past few months and do notice some tiny improvements.
The reason going to him wa I didn't want to go to my family Dr.for him to send me to a specialist and perhaps do surgery.Don't even want to go there.
But my symptons are hard to walk as my legs are so weak,my body has shifted so things are pressing on nerves which cause that along with tingling feet,legs and hands.I find it hard to stand for a while,but I am in no real pain just from the adjustment from the chiropractor as he is trying to get my body back to as normal as it could be so the addjustments can make your body ache for a brief time as it isn't used to being in that place .But I had exray's done and nothing has broken with the rod.
but I cannot owrk,I had to give up my child care as I can't lift or even take them for a walk around the block.I would like to get a class action going too,they don't realize the long term effect we will endure.
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Avatar_f_tn
I had harrington rods put in in 1975 in Toronto.  I am now dealing with a lot of pain especially from the waist down.  My legs, hips, feet.  My doctor also said I have fibromyalgia now.  She gave me lyrica but there's no relief.  My last x-rays show that I have no cushion whatsoever between three discs.  The pain and the tingling/burning/numbness in unbearable, not to mention the spasms that seem like someone is stabbing me.  I'm not sure what the solution is at this point.  
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Avatar_f_tn
I agree! I am so tired of living in pain.. I was never told the rods would break.. I was only told I would live a normal life after I had the surgery.. I had it on my 16th birthday..I have had 3 rods removed because they broke put I still have fragments floating around and I still have one rod that is severely bent but no way to have it removed..I have researched and researched and I have found hundreds of ppl like us but no lawsuits against the manufacturers of the "Harrington Rod".. WE Need help!
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Avatar_m_tn
i have spent years looking to this . Rods in 1985......broken rods out , 2005  Just got a bad report today about my left leg . I can not bleive there has not been more about this .  I' m  very sad ........im lost for words...
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Avatar_m_tn
MAN ..... I 'm right with you  ..   we are a small group... (  rods in 1985.. broken rod out 2005 )  somethining has to go right.  i just got a bad  report about my left foot and leg tonight .  pay attencion to me ....after tonight ..I'm not giving up the fight for all of us.
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Avatar_m_tn
Im sorry to tell you this.... there are not working for you anymore , I got both of mine out in 2005....one was broke and the other  had 6 hooks on it..
The next surgery is not as bad as the first.....Two days ...in and out.  Just find the right surgant that knows what there doing.  (  Harrington rods  ).
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Avatar_m_tn
I have been through the same thing ...( Rods in ...1985............broken one's out in 2005 )  There has got to be some comp. for this. I am going to work on this thr rest of my life .  I will not let up till I find away to help all of us that I find on here .
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Avatar_f_tn
I WAS CUT OPEN AND STRAITENED AND WORE A CAST AFTER AT 12 FOR 7 MONTHS AND I STAYED N THU HOSPITAL A MONTH I THINK @TEXAS CHILDREN HOUSTON TEXAS the hospital lovely had a good experience there cuz it waz a whole ward with scoliosis patients I felt like I was on a ward at a mental institute.  The only bad experience to me was wearing the cast after surgery in 7th an 8th grade while body developing and I would not ever wear a bikini and it was hard to bathe and when I wet thu cast it smwelled sour it iched I had to use a fly swater to scratch and something to run through me n thu cast to bathe I like the curves when I came out of it though I dont like I never had that arch like other women and I have never been able to touch my toes im 43 now im in pain from my legs getting numb, to my hip hurting , my back seems as thought its braking when I sit sometimes it pops in the middle other than all that sometime I just be walking and ill feel a pain an just fall, dont no why I cant feel my right legs a lot I cant stand a long time after I walk like threw thu mall my whole right leg would just hurt nuthing relieve s it but sitting for a while until it stop I cant walk thew the park with hubby, when I laugh I urinate sometimes I have had 4 children all over 16-25 the rod isnt broke everytime I get xrays they show up and the doctor always complement the good work the dr. Did on my back. I put a tattoo over the scar get tired of people asking what happened when I wear a tshirt or tank very few people know anything about scoliosis
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Avatar_f_tn
I WAS CUT OPEN AND STRAITENED AND WORE A CAST AFTER AT 12 FOR 7 MONTHS AND I STAYED N THU HOSPITAL A MONTH I THINK @TEXAS CHILDREN HOUSTON TEXAS the hospital lovely had a good experience there cuz it waz a whole ward with scoliosis patients I felt like I was on a ward at a mental institute.  The only bad experience to me was wearing the cast after surgery in 7th an 8th grade while body developing and I would not ever wear a bikini and it was hard to bathe and when I wet thu cast it smwelled sour it iched I had to use a fly swater to scratch and something to run through me n thu cast to bathe I like the curves when I came out of it though I dont like I never had that arch like other women and I have never been able to touch my toes im 43 now im in pain from my legs getting numb, to my hip hurting , my back seems as thought its braking when I sit sometimes it pops in the middle other than all that sometime I just be walking and ill feel a pain an just fall, dont no why I cant feel my right legs a lot I cant stand a long time after I walk like threw thu mall my whole right leg would just hurt nuthing relieve s it but sitting for a while until it stop I cant walk thew the park with hubby, when I laugh I urinate sometimes I have had 4 children all over 16-25 the rod isnt broke everytime I get xrays they show up and the doctor always complement the good work the dr. Did on my back. I put a tattoo over the scar get tired of people asking what happened when I wear a tshirt or tank very few people know anything about scoliosis
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Avatar_m_tn
MD - I had Harrington Rods put into my back in 1979 when my back was broken in a car wreck. After being in a body cast for almost 6 months WHEN I was only 18 years old (that was fun) I was then in a brace for another 3 months (I actually healed quickly - they thought I would be in the body cast for 9 to 12 months) anyway---not much problem once the brace & cast were done ... until I was 39. Out of nowhere, I started to have back pain, hip pain, down into my legs. I could barely walk at times - and if I laid on the left side - it was as painful as trying to walk. After a couple of months of PT, pain meds, anti-inflammatory meds - the general practitioner told me I had fibromyalgia (No xrays had been taken of my back and they did know about my surgery) Fibro was VERY new back then. Well one Saturday my hubby comes in and I am mopping the floor, crying. He takes me to a urgent care - they take xrays and the dr on duty was shocked - the rods looked like a bunch of pick up sticks - scattered in my back area. The bolts that connected the rods are up around my high back/neck area and the rods had dropped about 3 to 5 inches. The GP called me on Monday and told me to not work until I got into see a orthopedic surgeon ... which was about 3 weeks away ... when he sees me ... he tells me if they were to do surgery - I would run a risk of being paralyzed ... basically his summarization was to exercise, not gain weight and learn to live with the rods.

The worst thing about all of this?
Like you - I feel like the medical field does  not understand how darn painful this is! In fact, until I found others on the Internet with the same problems also talking about the pain - I thought "I" was overexagerating!

Now, I am 53. For the past 13 years - I've been in and out of pain management clinics - I went to another 2 doctors to get their opinion on the broken rods and they also acted as though I had a bee sting :(
I was never mad.
I've just accepted this.
I never thought about compensation ...
I never thought about lawsuits...
But now ... I am mad.
I would not want to sue the surgeon who did my surgery ...
I like him (he actually did a knee surgery for me some years ago)
and I saw him about the rods as well ...
I do not think it is the surgeons fault ... but I do think it is the manufactors fault and whomevers job it is to make sure that products like the Harrington Rods do not stay on the market when they are presenting problems. Apparently, I am not the first person to have this problem!

You are right - we should be compensated.
So ... what do we do from here?

Anyone else had problems with their rods coming loose, breaking, slipping?
I'm not sure where to begin ...
I've only felt this way the past month --
(my pain is growing worse and I actually had to buy a cane
to assist me in walking a few weeks ago)
I guess my tolerance has had it :(

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Avatar_m_tn
MD - I had Harrington Rods put into my back in 1979 when my back was broken in a car wreck. After being in a body cast for almost 6 months WHEN I was only 18 years old (that was fun) I was then in a brace for another 3 months (I actually healed quickly - they thought I would be in the body cast for 9 to 12 months) anyway---not much problem once the brace & cast were done ... until I was 39. Out of nowhere, I started to have back pain, hip pain, down into my legs. I could barely walk at times - and if I laid on the left side - it was as painful as trying to walk. After a couple of months of PT, pain meds, anti-inflammatory meds - the general practitioner told me I had fibromyalgia (No xrays had been taken of my back and they did know about my surgery) Fibro was VERY new back then. Well one Saturday my hubby comes in and I am mopping the floor, crying. He takes me to a urgent care - they take xrays and the dr on duty was shocked - the rods looked like a bunch of pick up sticks - scattered in my back area. The bolts that connected the rods are up around my high back/neck area and the rods had dropped about 3 to 5 inches. The GP called me on Monday and told me to not work until I got into see a orthopedic surgeon ... which was about 3 weeks away ... when he sees me ... he tells me if they were to do surgery - I would run a risk of being paralyzed ... basically his summarization was to exercise, not gain weight and learn to live with the rods.

The worst thing about all of this?
Like you - I feel like the medical field does  not understand how darn painful this is! In fact, until I found others on the Internet with the same problems also talking about the pain - I thought "I" was overexagerating!

Now, I am 53. For the past 13 years - I've been in and out of pain management clinics - I went to another 2 doctors to get their opinion on the broken rods and they also acted as though I had a bee sting :(
I was never mad.
I've just accepted this.
I never thought about compensation ...
I never thought about lawsuits...
But now ... I am mad.
I would not want to sue the surgeon who did my surgery ...
I like him (he actually did a knee surgery for me some years ago)
and I saw him about the rods as well ...
I do not think it is the surgeons fault ... but I do think it is the manufactors fault and whomevers job it is to make sure that products like the Harrington Rods do not stay on the market when they are presenting problems. Apparently, I am not the first person to have this problem!

You are right - we should be compensated.
So ... what do we do from here?

Anyone else had problems with their rods coming loose, breaking, slipping?
I'm not sure where to begin ...
I've only felt this way the past month --
(my pain is growing worse and I actually had to buy a cane
to assist me in walking a few weeks ago)
I guess my tolerance has had it :(

Blank
Avatar_m_tn
I've been searching the web, looking for information regarding Harrington rod removal, and I stumbled upon this site. It's pretty interesting to find so many who share a common thread for chronic pain except that it also breaks my heart. I had two Harrington rods installed in 1987, and I felt fortunate that I had minimal setbacks until 2001, when my left leg and foot went numb. In 2010, I fell down the stairs due to loss of coordination from muscle atrophy, and I was casted for a sprain and charcot arthropathy in my foot. I've had complications with two different AFO's (orthotics braces) because of the neuropathy blocking any pain sensations from blistering caused by the brace. All too often, I'm in urgent care with ulcers and deep infections. In 2013, I had a sudden onset of radiating pain down my leg that  grows in strength and then diminishes every 30 to 60 seconds. I still have this pain over a year later, but thank God, it's not as severe as it was. I take Gabapentin and way too much Advil for the leg pain and increasing back and hip pain. I'm frustrated by the (seemingly) apathetic response I've had from most of the specialists I've seen. It seems like dead end after dead end as the direction I get steered is typically pain management. As I'm really not looking for reasons to have surgery, I really didn't jump headlong for the idea of having a spinal neurotransmitter installed in my abdomen for the pain. I really believe that we (Harrington rod recipients) belong to a class of patients over which an overwhelming majority of doctors have nothing to offer but a big question mark.  
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Avatar_f_tn
I also had the Harrington rod and fusions done for scoliosis in the early 1970's.   I know at the time this was the best treatment for severe scoliosis, but it's sad to know so many of us suffer now. I know now they use the titanium rod that allows for the natural lordosis of the spine. I hope future generations don't have the same complications we have had. What angers me is we had no idea that we would have problems from this years, decades later. It certainly is not something you knew you needed to plan your life around. Being told you could live a normal life, unaware of what the complications were for the future.
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