Re: What to expect of Harrington Rod Removal surgery
I had a more recent version of the Harrington Rods removed about 3.5 years ago. I had rapid progressive scoliosis, discovered too late for bracing (which I argue could have been slowed prior to the surgery when I was 16). The rods were fine the first 3 yrs, I was very active, rode horses; had a bad fall though and something happpened causing them to shift. For 3 years I told my surgeon something was wrong, I was in gradually worsening pain; but he told me that the xrays looked fine, things were in place. After having enough and not being able to get rid of the pain, I finally opted during graduate school summer break to get them removed. The excruciating pain in my upper back that I had had for 3 years was gone. Yes I was in pain (they did remove screws etc which is a major thing obviously) and had to take about 2.5 months of recovery with lifting restrictions post; but I don't regret getting them out (only falling off my horse and jarring the rods). Even the surgeon ended up agreeing with me as he found 13 bursae along the rods in my back, stating "no wonder you were in pain." So if you have enough pain to consider getting them removed I think it is worth it.
Now 3 yrs later I stopped riding horses, however I am still rather active and have a moderately physically demanding job. As before, I have to watch what i do (still stupid at times). My quality of life now though is much better. I am not sure what my future holds regarding surgeries, pain etc since I am still relatively young.