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Harrington rod

Started by DarlaL on 07/30/2018 2:11pm

About 6 months ago my son went into surgery to have part of his leg removed and while they were doing well during his stay in the hospital the Harrington Rod he had his back snapped into and he still laying in bed with this Harrington rods rubbing against the spine he is in excruciating pain like I said it's been 6 months and I don't see were anybody doesn't have the Compassion or empathy 2 take care of this he's paraplegic and the reason for them taking his foot or part of his leg is because his feet got infected but I can understand where he couldn't take care of his feet because of the Rod I guess only allows you to do so much has anybody had this problem about the Harrington Rod breaking in their back it's been 6 months it's still broken in his back rubbing against his spine with nuts and bolts floating in his body somewhere as a mother is very heartbreaking because it's on the inside of the body and there's nothing I can do about it please help me help my son

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2 Responses


I am sorry that I have no advise for you I just wanted to say that I am sorry you and your son are going through so much and I hope that someone can do surgery to remove the rod. I think maybe you could get another neurosurgeon to take a look and see if the broken rod can just be taken out.


Hi, DarlaL--thank you for taking the time to post. We can't imagine how hard this is for both you and your son. Seeing a child in pain can make a parent feel utterly helpless.

We agree with kluther's suggestion: It may be worthwhile to seek a second opinion about the broken hardware in your son's spine. Our doctor finder tool can connect you to qualified spine surgeons near you: https://www.spineuniverse.com/locate/spe...

Now, not all cases of broken hardware require a second surgery to correct. In some cases, a spine surgeon may choose to leave the broken hardware in place because the benefits of removing the hardware don't outweigh the risks. You can read more about that here: ( Spinal Fusion Instrumentation Removal: Pros and Cons ).

We think it would be helpful for you to learn why a surgeon would want to keep the hardware in versus removing it. We urge you to ask any surgeon you see--whether it's the surgeon who discovered the broken hardware or a second opinion surgeon--to review the imaging scans with you that show the broken Harrington rod and other devices. The surgeon should go over what the MRI or other imaging scan means in an easy-to-understand way (imaging reports are notoriously hard for non-medical professionals to understand, so don't hesitate to ask your surgeon what it means in layman's terms). You can also use this time to ask your surgeon:
What potential problems could this broken hardware cause?
What are the risks of removing it/keeping it in place?
If we keep it in, how can we better manage my son's pain?

Again, we are so sorry about what you are going through. Whenever you feel helpless, know that you are not--asking for second opinions and questioning your doctor to fully understand your son's case position you as a strong advocate for your son. We hope this information helps you, and we wish you both the very best.