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mbeckoff
07-09-2010, 05:24 PM
As most people here know , my surgery is just over 2 months ago. I have had that bad pain issue going on now for the past 2 1/2 -3 weeks now. I am now on the steroids.I am certain that I can feel the rods in my back. Am I losing it now for good? My surgeon assured me before surgery that I would never be able to feel them.

This group is the best .

What is going on?

Melissa

briarrose
07-09-2010, 05:36 PM
Hi Melissa,

I'm over 2 years post op and I can still feel my rods. My surgeon also says that I can't feel them, but it's actually muscle and scar tissue that feels really tight. Whatever it is, I don't like it. I hope yours goes away.

Shell

ShariMSU
07-09-2010, 06:48 PM
Hi, I am 12 weeks post-op. I feel my hardware more now that I have been off pain meds and some of the inflammation is down. I keep a pillow with me for sitting wherever there could be a hard surface. Restaurants, etc. I have been wondering if it goes away, but I am feeling it is that I will just get used to it. I still feel a lot hard muscle spots, kind of a numb/tingly/cottony feeling in some areas of back. That I hope will get better in time. I did read that if you are on the thin side you are bound to feel rods more. I am fused T2-L1. I'll be interested to read responses on this. Thanks for asking it.

mbeckoff
07-09-2010, 08:45 PM
Hi, I am 12 weeks post-op. I feel my hardware more now that I have been off pain meds and some of the inflammation is down. I keep a pillow with me for sitting wherever there could be a hard surface. Restaurants, etc. I have been wondering if it goes away, but I am feeling it is that I will just get used to it. I still feel a lot hard muscle spots, kind of a numb/tingly/cottony feeling in some areas of back. That I hope will get better in time. I did read that if you are on the thin side you are bound to feel rods more. I am fused T2-L1. I'll be interested to read responses on this. Thanks for asking it.

Well, to begin I am far from slim . I have that hard muscle spot , kind of a numb, /tingly/cottony feeling that you are talking about. I think that you are first to mention it.I most definitely hope that feeling gets better in time. I have always had a pillow with me but now the pillow seems like it is not soft enough or fluffy or just not something enough today ?. I just can't seem to get comfortable . I know that I am feeling my rods. I am fused 18 inches and I am feeling them at the bottom really bad.

Take care

Melissa

Back-out
07-09-2010, 09:03 PM
Well, to begin I am far from slim .... I know that I am feeling my rods. I am fused 18 inches and I am feeling them at the bottom really bad.

Take care

Melissa

GLURP. Wonder what expectations (probabilistically) that leaves those of us who are supposed to be fused to the sacrum (with "pelvic fixation") especially if we ARE slim.

Which reminds me (hoping someone sees this query) is fusion to S1 the same as "fusion to sacrum"? Also, what difference is pelvic fixation apt to make? Here, not asking about medical pros and cons, but what the patient experiences ST, such as is discussed here. What we FEEL and what SHOWS.

Likewise, does fusion to S1 mean the WHOLE sacrum? The sacrum is really a number of fused vertebrae. When we're told to expect a fusion to the sacrum, does that mean ALL those vertebrae are somehow joined to the fused vertebrae above it?

I've been having a lot of sacral pain lately (so much it wakes me up and aches all morning) and I wonder whether there are difference levels of sacral fusion. I am not at all sure my sacrum is still all in one piece. Good bit of snap crackling and popping too. :eek:

mbeckoff
07-09-2010, 09:39 PM
As far as I know S1 is the sacrum. I am fused T3-Sacrum

melissa

Nitram
07-09-2010, 09:42 PM
Well, I was fused from T10 to pelvis just short of 4 months ago and I don't really think I feel my rods. I am somewhat uncomfortable in my lower back at times...it's really tight feeling and I think I can feel where my pelvic anchors are every once in a while. I do hope the moderate pain/tightness goes away with time in my lower back as it's annoying sometimes but I don't think I can feel the rods.

Rich

jsully
07-09-2010, 10:10 PM
I think I can feel them, it doesn't hurt though.

jrnyc
07-09-2010, 11:11 PM
hi Rich
i think that you are really early in healing...and that things will improve as time passes...maybe you could read some of TitaniumEd's posts..or write to him...he mentioned specific weeks/months he felt improvement..

my surgeon swears there is little to no difference fused to sacrum vs pelvis...

hope you feel better every day...

jess

debbei
07-10-2010, 07:24 AM
I think I can feel them when I sit in certain chairs--ones that have horrizontal bars across the back. TOTALLY uncomfortable, and I avoid those kind of chairs if possible.

I used a pillow for maybe one year whenever I went out to make myself more comfortable. Now, I have only one of those numb, tingly spots in my back, and it's much less uncomfortable that it was. I"m hoping it'll still get better.

LindaRacine
07-10-2010, 11:54 AM
hi Rich
i think that you are really early in healing...and that things will improve as time passes...maybe you could read some of TitaniumEd's posts..or write to him...he mentioned specific weeks/months he felt improvement..

my surgeon swears there is little to no difference fused to sacrum vs pelvis...

hope you feel better every day...

jess

Hi...

Fusion to the sacrum is different than fusion to the ilium (pelvis). However, To be technically accurate, people are actually fused to the sacrum, with fixation to the pelvis. The iliac screw(s) are put in simply to keep the L5-S1 joint from moving during fusion.

Here's an illustration of the pelvis, sacrum, and hips.

http://www.fotosearch.com/LIF136/ga205004/

The sacrum is the bone above the heart shaped space.The ilium are the bones to the left and right of the sacrum.

And, here's an xray of someone who has screws into the sacrum and ilium (I think... The image isn't defined enough to actually be able to distinguish the individual vertebra).

http://static.spineuniverse.com/displaygraphic.php/4146/shaffrey_scoliosis44yof_fig5a-99.jpg

The large screws (bolts) at the very bottom of the image, have been placed in the ilium. The two horizontal pieces above the screws are just rods that have been placed to connect the vertical rods to the iliac screws. The sacral screws are just above the bottom of the vertical rods.

This topic comes up often enough that the next time I see a good xray image at work, I'll capture and annotate it.

And, BTW, another topic that comes up often is where we bend when we sit. If you're sitting up straight, you are primarily bent at the hips.

http://kenyonreview.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/sitting-skeleton.jpg

Hope that helps.

--Linda

ShariMSU
07-10-2010, 11:54 AM
Melissa, I'll stay in touch on how the muscles and those cottny feelings progress. I do find it is better the more I walk. Now that I am feeling good I think the more activity I can do this will help minimize the back discomfort.
At least I have no more pain like i had pre-surgery!
Take care, Shari B.

LindaRacine
07-10-2010, 11:59 AM
Just found a great illustration of the posterior view of the sacrum and ilium, which happens to show what it looks like when we sit. You have to love that the measuring device is called an assometer. :)

http://www.nidus-corp.com/TinyImages/LargeImages/assometer.jpg

--Linda

jrnyc
07-10-2010, 12:56 PM
thanks Linda, for that info on sacrum/pelvis...

i think in my case, during my April appointment, Dr L. was referring to my concern/anxiety about mobility/flexibility...i asked if he could stop at the sacrum..he was trying to tell me that sacrum vs pelvis wouldnt make a difference as far as flexibility or what/where i would be able to bend from...didnt help that i probably mentioned the fusion going all the way down was what has been stopping me from committing to surgery....i must've mentioned if it stopped at L somethIng or other i'd have made a decision already!
...i just saw the diagram you posted...very informative...but i keep thinking of Thanksgiving turkeys!

jess

Back-out
07-10-2010, 03:10 PM
Linda (if you're still out 'there' )

I wonder if you can answer my question a few posts above - about whether there is variation of what fusion to the sacrum means. I explain there that I have sacral pain and that it doesn't feel (or sound) like my sacrum is entirely solid anymore.

Do you perchance have any images such as you've posted, actually showing fusions to the sacrum - how and where the hardware attaches?
Again, I'm wondering if it every varies - for instance, to include more of the sacrum than just S1 (which I assume is what the topmost sacral vertebra would be if it were still separate from the rest)?

I wonder too when calculations are done (about how many segments are being fused), how the sacrum is counted. Guess it doesn't matter if it IS (always) only that top segment. I know the sacrum is not usually considered movable.

Wonder what they could do if my sacrum IS a bit - - - "loose" . I suppose under normal conditions., the sacrum fuses sometime before birth (and stays fused). Mine definitely seems movable. I read in my MRI reports that I also have "Tarlov" cysts in and under the sacrum. Unless the difference is in the readers' interpretations, they also seem to be getting larger.

I've been told they are harmless but that was before the size was increasing (apparently) and also before this pronounced sacral pain began - a few years ago. I only get it at night, lying down, and its starting to extend into my hip sockets - referred I guess. It's just as bad as the lumbar pain I get when I'm standing. That leaves me no comfortable positions any more.

Have you ever heard of someone having problems necessitating a fusion extending further down than "just" S1 (not counting the pelvic fixation, whatever that is)?? Or a problem requiring it (wondering what it's called). None of this - jelled - as an issue l right now. Naturally, I'll ask surgeons about it, but meanwhile....

Pooka1
07-10-2010, 03:17 PM
Just found a great illustration of the posterior view of the sacrum and ilium, which happens to show what it looks like when we sit. You have to love that the measuring device is called an assometer. :)

http://www.nidus-corp.com/TinyImages/LargeImages/assometer.jpg

--Linda


I can't seem to stop laughing at this! I am sitting here giggling like an idiot.

sharon

kennedy
07-10-2010, 06:18 PM
I don't feel my rods. only when i put my hands on my back i do feel the rods.

Singer
07-10-2010, 07:10 PM
I can't seem to stop laughing at this! I am sitting here giggling like an idiot.

sharon

OMG, that's a riot !!!

mbeckoff
07-10-2010, 07:34 PM
Just found a great illustration of the posterior view of the sacrum and ilium, which happens to show what it looks like when we sit. You have to love that the measuring device is called an assometer. :)

http://www.nidus-corp.com/TinyImages/LargeImages/assometer.jpg

--Linda


That is just too funny. I needed a good joke
Thanks
Melissa

kassie84
07-11-2010, 06:44 AM
Hey guys.. I'm only fused t4-t11 and 7 weeks post op.. Doing great! I am sure I can feel some rods or
Screws. Also have a lot of numbness in muscles all around my scar and shoulder blades. But most recently I've started to bend from about L1? We didn't fuse both curves hoping the bottom one will correct itself in time. Since getting more movement back these bones about t12,l1,l2& l3 are really sticking out and sore.. Has any had this experience or ideas why it would be? I'm a little worried I've got to be careful not to slouch and damage the chance of my lumbar straightening...
Thanks guys

LynetteG
07-11-2010, 06:48 AM
I have always felt the rods since surgery, and more so now since I'm off the meds, especially when I walk. It feels quite strange but certainly not painful :)

doodie
07-11-2010, 09:04 AM
Hi Amanda -
For what it's worth, I am fused to S2... I'm not sure if you can tell that from the x-ray I posted in my signature or not - you can zoom in on it and see better in that area though - maybe that helps.

Linda -
Your sitting skeletal diagrams are very helpful. I too love the 'assometer'. I'd like to know who named that gizmo - they certainly had a sense of humor! :D

LindaRacine
07-11-2010, 12:56 PM
Linda (if you're still out 'there' )

I wonder if you can answer my question a few posts above - about whether there is variation of what fusion to the sacrum means. I explain there that I have sacral pain and that it doesn't feel (or sound) like my sacrum is entirely solid anymore.

Do you perchance have any images such as you've posted, actually showing fusions to the sacrum - how and where the hardware attaches?
Again, I'm wondering if it every varies - for instance, to include more of the sacrum than just S1 (which I assume is what the topmost sacral vertebra would be if it were still separate from the rest)?

I wonder too when calculations are done (about how many segments are being fused), how the sacrum is counted. Guess it doesn't matter if it IS (always) only that top segment. I know the sacrum is not usually considered movable.

Wonder what they could do if my sacrum IS a bit - - - "loose" . I suppose under normal conditions., the sacrum fuses sometime before birth (and stays fused). Mine definitely seems movable. I read in my MRI reports that I also have "Tarlov" cysts in and under the sacrum. Unless the difference is in the readers' interpretations, they also seem to be getting larger.

I've been told they are harmless but that was before the size was increasing (apparently) and also before this pronounced sacral pain began - a few years ago. I only get it at night, lying down, and its starting to extend into my hip sockets - referred I guess. It's just as bad as the lumbar pain I get when I'm standing. That leaves me no comfortable positions any more.

Have you ever heard of someone having problems necessitating a fusion extending further down than "just" S1 (not counting the pelvic fixation, whatever that is)?? Or a problem requiring it (wondering what it's called). None of this - jelled - as an issue l right now. Naturally, I'll ask surgeons about it, but meanwhile....

I'm not sure how one would know that movement is coming from the sacrum. As Doodle mentioned below, one can be fused to any part of the sacrum, so I don't think it really matters. The sacrum can be fractured:

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/532020_1

--Linda

Jess, it also reminded me of Thanksgiving! :)

Back-out
07-11-2010, 07:15 PM
I'm not sure how one would know that movement is coming from the sacrum. As Doodle mentioned below, one can be fused to any part of the sacrum, so I don't think it really matters. The sacrum can be fractured:

I think it's moving because I get sound effects when my sacrum is manipulated or when I lie on a solid object (even a hard pillow). This is for a kind of a do it yourself chiropractic adjustment or massage. Gravity + exercise (or rolling), can relieve discomfort .

It can be done anywhere in the spine. For me, this flexibility/adjustability (and noise) extends to the sacrum. Blech!

Reading about it, I see gas pockets can be located throughout the spine - a vacuum. Along with Tarlov cysts, they've shown up on MRIs. Since I've started having sacral pain, I've requested sacral MRIS on top of the usual one for the lumbar spine.

Reading about sacral instability lately (accompanied by cord compression, in that area) I just learned some shocking caveats about the importance of addressing this problem in deformity surgery. I know I can't assume it will be attended to, unless I insist. From fortunate instances in my own life (narrow escapes), I've learned we can't just turn over our problems intact to even the best surgeon - I mean, assuming s/he will always pay proper and adequate attention to our overall needs. Our lives (and those of our children), are ultimately OUR responsibility, though.

Restricting myself to this excerpt for now, here's a message about sacral instability, cord compression and neuro signs in that area in relation to "our" surgery. Paraphrased intro...If the isn't properly accounted for it can lead to...

[I]..displacement or entrapment and compression of the neural elements during operative reduction and fixation. The degree of displacement has important implications for the safety of operative reduction and instrumentation as well as the risks of subsequent implant failure .

ADMoul
07-11-2010, 08:36 PM
Thanks for the illustrations, Linda. That really helped me understand what my Dr. meant about having pain from the iliac screw and why it hurts where it does. As far as feeling rods, the only time I notice them is if I sit back against something hard--like a church pew. It doesn't hurt--just feels like there's "stuff" there.
Gee, could "assometer" be a scrabble word????