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  • Harrington Rod Removal... Need Dr. Suggestions

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    Old 08-26-2014, 04:27 PM   #1
    Bodie and Bobo
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    Question Harrington Rod Removal... Need Dr. Suggestions

    I've been tasked with finding a doctor for my wife who would do this surgery. I live in southeast Texas, near the Texas Medical Center in Houston, if anyone in that area can do this procedure, or at least recommend to my wife what her future holds.

     
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    Old 10-18-2014, 08:46 PM   #2
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    Re: Harrington Rod Removal... Need Dr. Suggestions

    Why does your wife need to have the Harrington Rod removed?

    Unless there is a problem you can keep the rod in your body for your lifetime. I am 50 and had my Harrington Rod surgery when I was 12 years old. I had it removed because the fusion never worked but many people never have it removed.

    Even if she is in pain, it may be that she needs a revision surgery which could require a different type of surgeon than one that simply removes rods.

    If you can, please give additional details. I will be praying that you find a doctor to help your wife.

     
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    Old 10-21-2014, 06:16 AM   #3
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    Re: Harrington Rod Removal... Need Dr. Suggestions

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by powergrub View Post
    Why does your wife need to have the Harrington Rod removed?

    Unless there is a problem you can keep the rod in your body for your lifetime. I am 50 and had my Harrington Rod surgery when I was 12 years old. I had it removed because the fusion never worked but many people never have it removed.

    Even if she is in pain, it may be that she needs a revision surgery which could require a different type of surgeon than one that simply removes rods.

    If you can, please give additional details. I will be praying that you find a doctor to help your wife.

     
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    Old 10-21-2014, 06:21 AM   #4
    Bodie and Bobo
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    Re: Harrington Rod Removal... Need Dr. Suggestions

    My wife also had the Harrington Rod at age 12. But now at 57, she is suffering through almost continuous back pain all up and down her spine. She has seen pain doctors, and has gone through several RFA procedures to relieve the pain. This works for about a week, then the pain returns. Her only relief is to take up to 4 Vicodin per day in order to have some semblance of a normal life. It is almost impossible to take a trip to the mall, or drive medium distances with her back in this condition.

    Thank you for the prayers, and if you know of anyone we could talk to to help relieve the pain, please let us know.


    We were looking into the possibility that the rod may have lived out its use, and wanted to explore having it removed to see if this can eliminate the back pain. We have not found a surgeon willing to do this yet.

     
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    Old 10-21-2014, 09:33 AM   #5
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    Re: Harrington Rod Removal... Need Dr. Suggestions

    I am assuming you have had the MRIs, CT Scans, EMGs and all the other tests that a surgeon would require prior to considering that the Rods are the source of pain.

    I am also assuming all these test results have been close to normal and they have not shown any spinal cord compression or foraminal nerve compression or nerve root impingement, arachnoiditis or anything else that could be causing the pain?

    As we age, especially those of us that had Harrington Rods put into our spines so many years ago, there are degenerative changes in the spine like bone spurs or osteophytes, herniated/bulging disks, arthritis, moderate residual scoliosis, flatback syndrome (specific to the Harrington Rod procedure), lordosis and kyphosis etc that can cause great pain.

    Typically a surgeon would need to eliminate all other possible sources of pain producers before they would take out the hardware.

    I had the first rod taken out and then at some point years later when I was having an increase in pain the 4 rods that were placed into my spine to replace the Harrington Rod were removed because the doctor did not see anything on all the tests that he thought was causing the pain. The doctor thought it could be the rods themselves so he took the rods out.

    I continued to have the same exact pain and he did discograms, myleograms, more MRI's and many epidurals before he did a discectomy and a laminectomy and then a fusion. I had 4 surgeries in 4 years after he took the rods out.

    My point in telling all of this is that no doctor is going to take the rod out without knowing that your wife has undergone all other tests to ensure that the rod is the reason for the pain.

    Additionally, she may end up in Pain Management no matter what you do. She is on a very low dose of narcotics for managing chronic daily pain and even after all my surgeries I have still been in Pain Management taking narcotics since 1998. I am on a relatively low dose but it is a long acting pain reliever that works all day long, not the short term narcotics like Vicodin or Percocet.

    Let me know if your wife has had an MRI of her spine - her entire spine, cervical, thoracic and lumbar and what the results were. A surgeon usually requires that the MRI be done within 6 months of surgery otherwise they will make you have another one.

    You should be looking for a doctor that can determine what is causing the pain your wife is having and then they will direct you to the right surgeons or offer suggestions as to how to treat your wife. In the meantime, she should be seeing a Pain Management specialist to handle the pain until you determine what, if anything can be done for your wife.

    Could you give me all the information as to why your wife thinks she needs the rods removed, all the tests that have been run and what the results were?

    She should not have to live in severe pain each day of her life and I am trying to understand how she decided it was the rod that was causing the pain and not all the other stuff that happens to the spine as we age.

    As far as surgeons go, I always get opinions from a neurosurgeon and an orthopedic spinal surgeon (an orthopedic surgeon with a specialty in spines - not a plain ortho surgeon). I ask friends, look on the internet, but most importantly I like to know someone that has used that surgeon with good results. Usually my general practitioner or Pain Management doctor provides me with a list of names and a referral for a surgical consult.

    Let me know if you need more help. Kelli

     
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