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1629578 tn?1299818494

Anyone have Scoliosis, Spinal Fusion with Harrington Rods

My quick story to share about my fusion, I am wondering if any of you have had any issues?

I had harrington rod/fusion surgery for scoliosis almost 23 years ago. In the last 10-15 + years, I have had terrible complications from the surgery, neurosurgeon calls it flatback syndrome. My 2 rods start at T3 and end at L2, they took bone off my left hip at the time of surgery to fuse the spine.

I have been in and out of doctor's offices, counselors, physical therapy, seen many massage therapists, chiropractors, multiple prescription use, and also have used many modalities of alternative medicine. Because I suffer from chronic pain all the time, fibromyalgia symptoms, myofascial pain (tons of knots in the muscles...everywhere), pinching and burning of nerves and especially around the rods/fusion and my legs, extreme dizziness/vertigo, migraines that last for weeks, TMJ disorder, bulged disks, abnormal forward curvature (at least 30%) of the cervical spine, degenerating disks, pre osteoarthritis, arthritis, bursitis, sciatica, numbness , burning, and tingling of extremities, muscle fatigue and weakness/atrophy, edema, shortness of breath, thyroid issues, gall bladder issues, hypoglycemia, poor concentration, memory problems, moodiness and depression, sleep issues... I think that just about covers it all :(  I never had any pain or any issues before my surgery, even though I was only eleven.   Many other scoliosis friends that have had fusions are suffering with the same things as well because of the long term outcomes.   If you have also had issues, please share...
21 Responses
Avatar universal
I am a 31 year old female and had rods/fushion done in 1997 in the same exact area (t3-l2) with bone graft from my rib. I also had horrible shoulder pain after and now suffer from every single symptom you decribed above. My fibro and vertigo is getting worse and is very annoying. I am a nurse and I'll be the first to tell you that most Docs are gonna tell you that the surgery and symptoms are not related, well I beg to differ. I do believe they are related. But  the best thing you can do is know your body and what works best for you. I have tried and taken many medications for my fibro but Savella seems to work best. It is the only drug currently on the market that is specifically for fibro. However, it is expensive and comes with it's own list of side effects. For that reason, I do not take it everyday, only during flare-ups. And even then I use natural remedies along with it. Believe it our not, the best remedy so for is exercise. I know, I was very much a sceptic at first and it seemed to me that exercise would only make matters worst. But it worked! And no it's not a cure but it does help living with it better. And living with it is just a reality. No wonder drug or remedy is gonna drop from the sky. So it's best to stick with what works for you best. Hope this helps someone a little. Stay positive!:)
212161 tn?1537898045
Hi  I to have the rods running from my neck to the bottom of my back. i was 65 % off so they took it down to 30% i think , i was 35 at the time of surgery am now 51 and have a few of the problems ya are having. i do have the bad headacke and the muscles ackes. my right shoulder to move towars the back stings and burns, my hubby gives me massages a lot and it helps, i have lots scare tissuse in my top part of the back. my lower back hurts bad at times but i only have 3 verbras left so i can bend.

its been a good surgery for me because it was pulling my left lung and heart to the right so it had to be done. i donot have shortness of breath but i do have chest pains or chest ackes sometimes for days or hours. do ya have that.
i do have numbness in my left hand sometimes, and of course lots headacke and neck ackes from my neck being so straight now.

i have checked on here many times to see if anyone had this problem ,never saw anyone with the rods etc. sorry ya are going throuhgt this but glad to see others with the rods and know am not in this byself.

have worry many times its my heart have had it checked out they say its fine, so can only say its my back. do ya have this problem.
Avatar universal
I am 30 years old and had the Harrington rods put in my back when i was 14 years of age.  I have had children and am starting to have a few problems.  Chest pain in the upper part above my breasts and in the very top of my back where the scar starts.  Is this normal?  Does this shorten our life span?  I am very worried about it and can not get any answers anywhere.  I have also been having problems with my lower abdominal area.  Where i wake up every morning with gassy crampy feeling its almost like being on my period 24-7 . Who should i see to get some help? A regular doctor or what?
Avatar universal
I am 34 and had rod fusion on my thoracic area at 15. I too have had children. I get a little sciatic, hip numbness and toe tingle, occasionally now but experienced chest pain, migraines, vertigo, and sharp stings around my rod after having the kids. I think it was my body's way of adjusting after two births. Yoga and a nonsedintary lifestyle is the only thing that will help me. Chiropractics occasionally and massage are a good tuneup a few times a year. Go to your primary care provider if necessary and ask for a a referral to see a spine specialist (orthopedic surgeon). THE BEST thing I could have done. I had an X-ray and was hsppy to see all intact. I was tlid it does  not make your life shorter and that it can be removed. After much discussion I decided with the Dr that my pain symptoms, easily managed with exercise, were manageable to the point that removal was not a better option. In fact the exercise program will probably increase my lifespan and give me more time with my precious babies. Make an appointment and get sine peace of mind. Orthopedic surgeon :)
Avatar universal
I had Harrington surgery in 1980.  I am now 48 and have two grown children.  Several years ago I started experiencing pain in neck and lower back. It was painfully just getting out of bed in the morning and could not turn my head to the left very far at all.  I started seeing a chiropractor for symptoms.  He is very knowledgeable and also did reasearch on scoliosis and Harrington rod.  My pain now is very minimal. I do see him for maintenance every other week.  Regular alignment is very important.  Works for me, anyway!  
Avatar universal
I had Harrington surgery in 1980.  I am now 48 and have two grown children.  Several years ago I started experiencing pain in neck and lower back. It was painfully just getting out of bed in the morning and could not turn my head to the left very far at all.  I started seeing a chiropractor for symptoms.  He is very knowledgeable and also did reasearch on scoliosis and Harrington rod.  My pain now is very minimal. I do see him for maintenance every other week.  Regular alignment is very important.  Works for me, anyway!  
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