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Thread: I have lots of questions

  1. #1

    I have lots of questions

    My husband crushed L1 13 years ago and can still walk unassisted but he is in alot of pain all the time. He has the Harrington rods in and I've been reading the articles on removing them. My question is would he still be able to walk if removing them was an option? Another question is Does anyone know of a spinal cord injury doctor in the San Diego area? We have Kaiser and they won't do anything for him. I don't think his rods have been checked since they were put in 13 years ago. I would really like to talk to someone who's condition is similiar to my husbands. Or someone who knows something about partial paralysis.
    Thank you.

    Kari Schrank

  2. #2
    Kari,

    I have known many people who have developed pain from their rods. After a year or more, the spinal column has healed and there is no more need for the rods. Especially since your husband can walk around and is bending, his rods are being pushed and pulled, putting stress at the places where the rods are hooked into the spinal column.

    My recommendation is to find a experienced orthopedic surgeon and get a second opinion. Especially if the pain is coming from where the rod are anchored to the column, this is sufficient reason to get the rods removed.

    Wise.

  3. #3

    Options

    While Kaiser does have orthopedic surgeons as well as physiatrists, if you want to pay for an outside second opinion on this specific issue I would recommend Steve Garfin, MD at UCSD as an internationally known expert on orthopedic spine problems.

    KLD

  4. #4

    I can't thank you enough

    I literally sat and cried when I was told about this site. You already have given me a world of information that I have spent 5 years searching for. Thank you, thank you!

    Kari Schrank

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    West Virginia
    Posts
    19
    I suffered a burst L1 fracture in Dec of 2000. I experienced several months of terrible pain.
    It left me incomplete and with pain I've resolved to live with the rest of my life.

    Many people here, as I, received some relief from removing their rods. My doctor believed it was best to remove them after the spinal fusion healed. This was 9 months post injury for me.

    I hope this helps.

  6. #6

    That has helped a lot

    You are the first one I've heard from who's rods were taken out. I was wondering though are you able to walk? And do you still feel a lot of pain just by the nerve damage? I want to get all the information I can possibly get before Cliff goes through another surgery and recovery. I would hate to have this done with the possibility of him not walking again. I also just heard of a woman who's rod broke and injured another part of her spinal cord now she will never walk. We finally got an appointment with a physical medicine doctor through Kaiser supposably a sci dr. I've been told to ask for a CT milagram of the lumbar area, and x-rays. After 13 years is there any other tests I should be asking for?
    Thank you again for your message.

    Kari Schrank

    [This message was edited by Kari on Apr 20, 2002 at 12:34 AM.]

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    West Virginia
    Posts
    19
    Yes, I can walk. My balance is not so good at times and I have a slow gate.

    The pain is always with me, but I have managed to get off the oxy the first of this year. Loratabs usually help at night now, which isn't too bad.

    About the rods breaking. My surgeon said rods bend ever so slightly and with time can break. When I had mine, I could feel a tightness or pulling sensation when trying to bend over.


    I thought the surgery to remove the rods would be as painful as the original one to implant them. It wasn't. Now that I look back I see how most of the terrible pain was from the accident. Once they had my spine stabilized with the rods, that's when they started moving me as part of the therapy which was necessary but hell on earth.

    For me, the only thing my surgeon did to see how I was recovering and if I was ready to have the rods out was an x-ray. I saw him on a monthly basis up to and awhile after they came out. In your husbands case it may be different.

    Find the best surgeon you can and see what he has to say. There may be calcium built up around the rods which could make for a longer surgery and more pain. My doctor said the vertebrae will come down some after the rods came out. I can't imagine there will be enough trauma with this procedure to cause paralysis. Can you get a second opinion?

  8. #8

    What is Oxy?

    Cliff has only been taking Vicodin and Motrin 800. All doctors we've seen said there was nothing else to help the pain. But then again Kaiser didn't even have it in his chart that he had a SCI and he's been there for 10 years.

    Kari

  9. #9
    Oxycontin- a pain God-send. It is too bad people have abused it and given the drug a bad name.

    Hensley-Martin Management

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    West Virginia
    Posts
    19
    Oxycodone (a fast release kind) and Oxycotin ( the slow release kind) is a synthetic morphine. It's a God send if one has unbearable, severe pain. The Oxycotin allows around 8 - 12 hours of relief so one can sleep relatively well all night. The Oxycodone is for what they call break through pain. It doesn't last as long, like 4 hours, but it's for those unbearable bursts of pain.

    This drug is reserved for the worst of the worst pain, like right after spinal surgery or injury. Although I know at least one poor soul that is still taking it after 3 years post injury.

    I'm thankful there is such a drug as the pain was a nightmare as it was. But I am so thankful to be free of it too. It's addictive and when weaning off, there is a terrible unrest, with aches deep in the bones like no flu I've ever had.

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