Shagun Cares Harrington rod (Harrington Rod & Hooks) is a stainless steel surgical device. Historically, this rod was implanted along the spinal column to treat, among other conditions, a lateral or coronal-plane curvature of the spine, or scoliosis. Up to one million people had Harrington Rod & Hooks implanted for scoliosis between the early 1960s and the late 1990s.
The Harrington implant was developed in 1953 by Paul Harrington, a professor of orthopedic surgery at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.
Harrington rods were intended to provide a means to reduce the curvature and to provide more stability to a spinal fusion. Before the Harrington rod was invented, scoliosis patients had their spines fused without any instrumentation to support it; such fusions required many months in plaster casts, and large curvatures could progress despite fusion.
The device itself was a stainless steel distraction rod fitted with hooks at both ends and a ratchet and was implanted through an extensive posterior spinal approach, the hooks being secured onto the vertebral laminae. It was used at the beginning without performing a spinal fusion but early results proved fusion as part of the procedure was mandatory, as movement of the unfused spine would cause the metal to fatigue and eventually break. The procedure required the use of a postoperative plaster cast or bracing until vertebral fusion had occurred.