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What does "Artifact from retained hardware in dorsal soft tissues" mean on an MRI?
lindee49 posted:
I obtained a copy of my MRI and noted that it states "ARTIFACT from retained hardware in the dorsal soft tissues on S1 is noted. Additional postoperative changes are noted involving the posterior elements throughout the lumbar spine."

I had my Harrington rod removed in May. Is there some of the rod still left in my tissues. The surgeon said it was removed. Anybody know?
bj1208 responded:
hi and welcome to the support group -
did you have screws and a cage also? it sounds like there may have been a screw or something left inside that may not be able to be removed.

best thing would be to contact the surgeon and ask since this showed up on your MRI -

take care - Joy
dianer01 responded:
Time to call Indiana Jones?

Sorry, I just had to! I would think it was a piece of hardware which helped anchor your rods. It is my understanding eventually the rods are completely unnecessary. It is possible there is still some sort of anchor left and if it is imbedded in bone I wouldn't worry too much but I agree with Joy, contact the surgeon and or the radiologist reading the film.

my best

trs1960 responded:
Hardware (titanium) is much more dense than the surrounding tissue. The MRI is tuned to the resonance frequency of the hydrogen protons in your body. When something like titanium is in the target area it distorts the image and usually just shows up as a hole in the image. It's called an artifact. If I could post pictures I'd show you an example. This is why people with hardware offten get a CT scan instead of an MRI. It's up to the doc to figure out which is best. Often the area of the artifact is not near (a few mm) the disc he/she is looking at so the artifact is of no consequence.

Ferrous metals have a drastically different result as the strength of the magnet will try to rip them from wherever they are!!

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