What are Harrington rods used for?

The Harrington rod was a stainless steel spinal instrument that was implanted in the patient along their spinal column to treat a curvature in their spine starting in the 1960s. Harrington rods were the most common tool used for scoliosis to treat instability and deformity of the spine.

Are Harrington rods still used?

Remember, Harrington rods aren’t used anymore to address scoliosis. However, if you had a Harrington rod implanted before, you may develop flatback syndrome. Be sure to report any pain, trouble standing upright, difficulty walking, or other symptoms to your doctor.

What does a Harrington rod do?

Harrington rod is a surgical implant used to stretch the spine in order to correct abnormal curvature. The rod is attached to the spine with hooks inserted into the vertebra at the top of the curve and the vertebra at the bottom of the curve.

How long do Harrington rods last?

There simply haven’t been enough long-term studies to find out just how long these rods, screws, and hooks will last before risking degeneration or breaks. Most follow-ups are two to five years post-surgery, but we really don’t know what life looks like for people 40, 50, and 60 years post Harrington rod surgery.

Can you have an MRI with Harrington rods?

Will I be able to have an MRI? Yes. There is no reason why you cannot have an MRI. It is true the rods will interfere with the image on the MRI to some extent, but new techniques allow for visualization of the spine particularly adjacent to the instrumentation.

Does scoliosis qualify as a disability?

So, the Social Security Administration (SSA) offers benefits for scoliosis disorder. If you are wondering whether scoliosis is a disability, the answer is YES! It is a disability, and you can get disability benefits for it.

Can I see a chiropractor with Harrington rods?

Chiropractic care is also available for scoliosis patients who have a Harrington rod attached to them. Chiropractors use a method known as the Activator Method, which utilizes a small tool that enables the care givers to minimize the force he/she will use on a scoliosis patient with a Harrington rod.

Which procedure may require the use of Harrington rods?

Harrington rods were the first spinal implants widely used for the treatment of vertebral fractures. The dorsal spinal elements are distracted to reduce and realign the vertebral column by ligamentotaxis.

Can I weight lift with scoliosis?

Strength training, as a rule, is positive for scoliosis sufferers, as it can help strengthen muscles which support the spine. Caution is needed here, as resistance exercise can exacerbate scoliosis if performed improperly. We recommend strength training, but see your scoliosis professional for recommendations first.

Are rods removed after spinal fusion?

Your surgeon will normally re-open your original incision. They will remove any scar tissue that has grown over the hardware. If your spine has fused correctly they will remove the hardware. If your fusion has not been successful they may put new hardware in its place.

Can you ever bend again after scoliosis surgery?

Arch your back? Without question, scoliosis surgery will limit your ability to do all these things somewhat, but the extent to which your flexibility is limited will vary based on what specific vertebrae are fused. Not every one of the 24 vertebra in your spine are involved equally in your ability to bend your back.

Is scoliosis surgery a major surgery?

Spinal fusion for scoliosis is a major surgery. However, the surgery itself is only one part of a long process.

Can Harrington rods break?

Harrington rods can bend, break loose from the wires, or worse, break completely in two, necessitating further surgical intervention and removal of the rod. Once the rod is removed, corrosion (rust) is found on two out of every three. Below, are 2 radiographs of an individual with broken Harrington rods.

Does scoliosis shorten your life?

Scoliosis can lead to many health concerns, including physical and mental stress, reduced lung function, heart complications and the need for surgery. If your scoliosis is severe, it may cause related conditions that could lead to death.

Why does my back still hurt years after spinal fusion?

Because the spine has many different levels, patients very often can have a successful surgery at one level of the spine, but then continue to have wear and tear above or below. This often causes similar symptoms to recur, usually many years after an otherwise-successful surgery.

How many years does a spinal fusion last?

Surgical screws, rods or metal plates are used to hold the vertebrae together. In more complex cases, two or more interlocking vertebrae may be involved in the spinal fusion procedure. The results of a fusion are permanent.

Does spinal fusion shorten life expectancy?

Conclusion: Elderly patients who underwent spine surgery for spinal stenosis had reduced mortality compared to the corresponding portion of the general population.

Does spinal fusion qualify for disability?

Most individuals who undergo a spinal fusion surgery end up qualifying for SSDI benefits through a residual functional capacity (RFC) assessment. An RFC will document your ability to perform certain tasks, such as lifting and walking.

How do you sit on the toilet after back surgery?

The walkers behind me i can use it to help me sit that stand back up but again can't twist like this. So what we often tell people is hold on here. So hold on to the front portion of the walker.

Do you need a walker after back surgery?

Your physician will encourage you to walk as much as possible. You will need an assistance device such as a walker or cane for the first week; however, you should strive to limit the use of this device after the first two to three weeks when you are on stable ground.

How do you wear pants after back surgery?

Quote from video:
Sit down put your operative leg in first and then your non-operative leg pull up the garment over your knee to where you are able to safely reach it.

What do I need at home after back surgery?


  1. Cane or walker. A cane or walker can help add support and security as you take your first steps around your home and neighborhood.
  2. Grabber device. …
  3. Toilet riser. …
  4. Shower seat/mat. …
  5. Recliner. …
  6. Body pillow. …
  7. Silk pajamas. …
  8. Back brace.

Is a recliner good after back surgery?

Recliners can help ease pressure on your lower back, and sitting on something cushioned, such as an inflatable donut pillow or hemorrhoid pillow, can make sitting more tolerable. If you’re having extensive surgery, you may want to consider renting an adjustable bed for the postoperative recovery period.

How do they prep you for back surgery?

Preparation Before Back Surgery

  1. Toilet riser. A toilet riser comes in handy for people who anticipate difficulty getting on or off the toilet in the weeks after surgery. …
  2. Common items within easy reach. Place frequently used objects in a convenient location within easy reach. …
  3. Reacher or grabber. …
  4. Prepared food. …
  5. Slip on shoes.

What is the fastest way to recover from back surgery?

Back surgery recovery tips

  1. Create an exercise plan. …
  2. Stop smoking. …
  3. Fuel your body. …
  4. Prepare your home. …
  5. Find a caregiver. …
  6. Walk often during your back surgery recovery. …
  7. Be careful bathing and grooming. …
  8. Follow basic mobility instructions.

Is a heating pad good after back surgery?

After a few days of recovery have passed, heating pads can be used to keep the back feeling loose and relaxed. This is a great way to restore comfort and reduce soreness and stiffness in the back as you heal.

Why you should avoid back surgery?

If things go south, some of the potential complications of back surgery can include an adverse reaction to anesthesia, bleeding, infection, deadly blood clots that can circulate to the heart or lungs, heart attack, stroke, and nerve damage.