View Full Version : chances of damaging hardware

04-07-2010, 08:45 AM
Hi all, hope everyone is doing well pre and post-op. Just wanted to know (if anyone has experienced this), what are the chances of damaging your hardware approx 9 months post-op. I ask this because, yesterday my husband fell through our verandah (he was cleaning the gutters as we had had record rainfall for the first time in three years!), hit the outdoor setting on his way down, then hit the concrete with the table on top of him and a chair. When i heard the thump, i 'ran' outside to find him not responding. My instinct was to lift the table and chair to help him and of course i totally forgot about being fused. Firstly let me add that he is very battered and bruised but he is fine. The hospital released him, but he will have more followups tomorrow to check C3 and left sided ribs and why he had no heart rate for a couple of minutes (bloody scary s....!). As for me, i awoke in a lot of pain around the top of my left rod, a real bad headache and pain down my arm (right). My question is as above, "What are the chances of damaging your hardware this far down the track?" I would have thought that i would be nearly fused completely. Thanking you in advance for any responses.

04-07-2010, 09:54 AM

You husband is very lucky. Falls off ladders and step stools are something that we as scolis should avoid at all costs.

I really donít think you have to worry about your hardware as much as you have to worry about disrupting a fusion. Integrity of fusion at different time periods has not been defined. It was one of my questions. There are many factors and age plays a big part in this.

Even though the only way to verify that a fusion is solid, is to run a ct scan, it probably isnt worth it unless there is pain involved. Cts emit 440 times the radiation over a standard coronal x-ray.

Im sure you have heard that without BMP, 12 months is the fusion timeframe. You are almost there.

I donít own a ladder. I wont buy one.....Too dangerous.

04-07-2010, 04:40 PM
How are you today, Vali? Any improvement after a sleep?

Did you receive BMP?

Perhaps, for peace of mind, an email to your surgeon telling him what you've told us, might be warranted, if there's no improvement. Good luck, and let us know the outcome, won't you?

04-07-2010, 09:12 PM
oh gosh, Vali...hope you are OK and not in too much pain...
if you develop pain, i think you need a scan...maybe a call to the doctor, pain or not! just to reassure you...or to tell you what to look out for!
thank goodness your husband is OK...it could have been...just so much worse!

please take care....maybe no ladders for awhile!!


04-07-2010, 11:37 PM
Hi Vali...

There's no way that you can break the implants unless there was already an area that wasn't fusing. You can, however, pull screws out of bone. To put your mind at ease, you might want to ask your surgeon to take films, but the additional radiation is probably a bigger risk than waiting until your 1 year follow up visit. :) In truth, I suspect the damage is far more likely to be of the soft tissue variety.

Glad your husband is OK. Hope you are as well.


04-09-2010, 09:00 AM
Hi everyone and thankyou for your responses. After reading your responses, it made me think.........Dr Hall and i agreed that we wouldn't do unnecessary xrays due to the fact that i have had Malignant Melanoma 4 times, therefore i knew that if i rang him, he would probably say, 'take some pain meds and rest up. If your still having problems, call me in a couple days'. So..... I decided to 'suck it up' and see what happens! I upped my dose of Emu Oil Capsules to 3 caps/3X daily and applied Emu oil to the painful areas 3x daily and then at night, i took 2X Panadeine Forte. This seems to have worked, as now the pain is nearly non existent! I think everything will be OK, but i still might speak to Dr H. on Monday.

To Ed, ladders give me the heebegeebees too!

Jen & Ed, I did not have BMP. So i guess that 12 months is the time frame for me, although we did see evidence of bone growth at 5 months post-op at L4/5-L5/S1. If i only knew how to load photos on here, you could have a look. I am not computer savvy.

Jess, thankyou for your caring thoughts.

Linda, I think you may be right about the 'soft tissue variety', cause i figured if there was more to it, i would definitely know about it! (Pain):)

04-09-2010, 11:27 AM

I'm glad you're doing better. Thank goodness the hubby is ok too. I won't go on ladders or climb things now, I try to protect myself.

04-09-2010, 08:52 PM
That's good news Vali. It must have just been soft tissue damage. I hope your husband is doing ok too!

04-10-2010, 01:02 AM
Thanks Debbei and Jen, I must admit, i feel way better today, the neck is still a bit sore but OK. My DH is being his usual self (bloody hilarious), he is having problems walking, sleeping etc, but he makes jokes about it all the time. Tells everyone he was visiting the mistress when her husband came home he had to flee from the balcony, but he slipped and fell! (obviously it wasn't Rapunzel!) To watch him reminds me of my spinal surgery. I'm trying to teach him how to log roll and make things easier for himself, but he just cracks up laughing all the time then complains that his ribs hurt. He sneezed twice today and OH MY GOD, thankfully the grandkids weren't around, the language was not nice! Once again thanks girls, your concern is much appreciated.:)

04-10-2010, 06:56 AM
Great that you are feeling better.

Your story reminded me of my one kid who was injured ~2 weeks out when she went to the prom and her friend hugged her and pulled her forward. She had severe pain right below the fusion for a week or so.

So it sounds to me like you did something right above the fusion to soft tissue or possibly your spine. It seems almost impossible that you could have affected the fused area with the instrumentation they use.

The fusion has to end somewhere at the top and bottom and those areas are definitely going to take the brunt of any differential movement over the instrumented areas. Hardware is so good that most kids at least need no physical restrictions whatsoever except the self restrictions from pain.

I'm betting you didn't do a thing to the fusion.

Good luck.

04-12-2010, 09:34 AM
I don't have anything to add, except I am SOOO sorry this accident happened to you and your hubby. I hope you are both okay! ((((HUGS))))

04-12-2010, 06:34 PM
Thankyou Pooka. I remember that episode with your daughter, it gave me goosebumps at the time!

Thankyou rohrer for the hugs. I'm OK, but hubby is still struggling a bit. As they say 'time will heal'.:)