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View Full Version : Feeling the screws once in a while, will this ever go away?



JenM
07-20-2010, 09:06 AM
Hi all-

This doesn't happen alot to me, but just thought I'd ask since I'm a new post-op person. I don't feel the rods in my back at all. For the first 5 weeks, I never even felt a screw. Now, every once in awhile, I can feel a screw. Yesterday, one screw was bothering me at night after a long day (had pt, had to put the kids to bed, dinner, etc). FYI...I didn't do anything very strenuous since my sitter was here all day yesterday in the morning and afternoon until 6pm. Is it normal to feel screws every once in a while in the beginning (had my surgery June 8)? Also, I am wondering, after a year or so or even after a long time after surgery do you stop feeling the screws? Or do you always feel them, no mattter how long ago you had surgery?

Thanks, was just thinking about this yesterday and thought I'd post and get some info from your experiences.

JenM

LisaB
07-20-2010, 10:09 AM
How do you know if you're feeling a screw and not just a muscle twinge or something like that?

JenniferG
07-20-2010, 04:58 PM
I suppose you mean you can feel the screw from within? I can't feel mine, but when I do certain things like lift something down from a top shelf, or sometimes swinging my arms when walking fast, I can feel the rods, or rather the muscles pulling on the rods. At least, that's what it feels like. It's painless.

Apart from that, I can feel the screws when I touch the top of my incision, it's a little bumpy at the top.

I should add, that in the early stages post op, especially when you start reducing or get off the medication, the feeling of having hardware is more obvious.

Nitram
07-20-2010, 09:06 PM
I'm 4 months post op and don't believe I feel the instrumentation at all normally...if I push around near the bottom of my fusion I think I might feel the heads of a couple of them through the skin, but that's about it.

Rich

JenM
07-21-2010, 08:58 PM
I did mean feeling the screw within my back, not feeling it on the outside through manipulating my back.

Nitram
07-21-2010, 09:37 PM
Hey Jen, I knew what you meant, I was just pointing out that although I don't feel mine internally, I think I can feel them externally if I try! :-)

Rich

RitaR
07-22-2010, 06:13 PM
I may be weird - and, if so, just call me on it because I can feel my rods most of the time. Haven't noticed any screw feeling but the rods remind me quite often. I feel them sitting at my desk at work and sitting here right now I can tell they're there. Don't really hurt - just kinda odd feeling. Is this normal for 4 mos postop? Cannot believe it's been 4 mos already, almost 5. Wow - I am so proud of me!!!

ShariMSU
07-22-2010, 07:27 PM
I am with Rita. I am at a little over 12 weeks and I feel my hardware alot. I am very aware of it. Also say it is not painful, but just odd. I do have alot of muscle and nerve soreness and stiffness. I feel hardware mostly when I sit against a chair or lay down. Definitely in the car.
I am wondering if it makes a difference if you have hardware in the thorasic area or lumbar area. Mine is only thorasic, T2-L1.

naptown78
07-22-2010, 09:10 PM
My 2 cents: After my first surgery I felt my rods intensely. It felt like I had a board in my back and some days it was miserable. But at the same time, I could not stand upright so I had that going against me. After my second surgery, I feel my hardware much much less but I still am aware that it is in there. On days that I am feeling it more, I sometimes realize that the weather is wet and soggy. It is not painful, just kind of a tight , pulling feeling. I can't say that I feel screws though, my pelvic anchors make my hips feel achy sometimes. It does all get better with time though.

JenniferG
07-23-2010, 12:36 AM
What you all have to look forward to, is forgetting they're even there. Even doing things differently, such as my new way of putting on socks, becomes the norm and you do it without thinking about rods etc. It takes a while, but it happens. Something I never thought would happen.

Shari
07-23-2010, 01:24 AM
Hi Jen, I felt a screw poking me soon after my surgery when I would reach down into the clothes washer with my right hand. It was one at T-5 or 6. It did eventually go away. And I had one screw showing under my skin around T-2 or 3. At first I thought it was a cyst, by my Doc. said it's was because I needed more meat on my bones.

I know it's hard not to be afraid of every little thing when you're first recovering, but they have for me gone away. Although the weather plays a a part in how I feel as well.

It's normal to be concerned, and that's what your Doctor can do, as well as this forum, to ease your mind.

Always ask the Doc. first,
Shari

gmw
07-23-2010, 05:23 AM
Shari -- I have the rods and screws in my lumbar area and can feel them especially when sitting. I asked my dr about them. His answer was to forget about them, they were a part of my body now just like the rest of my back. I also have a little discomfort with the screws in my pelvic area. Not bad, just enough to remind me something is different.

Glenda

Shari
07-24-2010, 12:21 AM
Hi Glenda, I first have to say what a wonderful family you have you!!! I would never tell you to forget it, because it's impossible so soon after your surgery. I'm a 5 yr post-oppie and I still feel things to this day. It does get better. I think us older women take a bit more healing time than the younger ones. But it comes.

Please don't ever compare your recovery to any others, it's your surgery, your spinal correction and it's your body that's going to heal itself.

Never forget how strong you really are, and your posts will many others that are trying to decide what to do.

Your newly found wisdom is greatly needed here,:)
Shari

gmw
07-24-2010, 12:18 PM
Thanks for your kind words, Shari. I appreciate your comments. My family is wonderful. I agree with you, it's going to be quite sometime before I can "forget" the hardware. I am very proud of it though as I no longer am in the pain I was before surgery. I do hope that folks will take notice of how well I am doing at my age (63). I was truly concerned about my age, but knew there would never be a better time and for the most part, I am healthy. It wasn't easy by any means, but I am so glad I did it and am on my way to healing.

foofer
07-24-2010, 02:21 PM
Glenda,

Just so you know, I am out here in Cyberland VERY impressed with how well you did "at your age". (kinda hate that expression!). It gives me great hope and also lessens the urgency of feeling the need to have surgery because I'm not getting any younger.

When and if- probably when- I do get the operation, I will be quite proud of my hardware store, I am sure. I think you all who have it, deserve to WORK IT. Show it off to whoever will listen. My x-rays will have a special compartment in my wallet.

gmw
07-24-2010, 08:40 PM
Thanks, Amy. I think I'll leave off the "for my age" from now on. I don't like it either. Actually, before my surgery, I was feeling much older than I do now! I am very proud of my x-rays and my hardware!

If I can figure out how to attach my x-rays, I'll post them. I have tiff files so I'll have to work on it.

Back-out
07-24-2010, 09:46 PM
Thanks for your kind words, Shari. I appreciate your comments. My family is wonderful. I agree with you, it's going to be quite sometime before I can "forget" the hardware. I am very proud of it though as I no longer am in the pain I was before surgery. I do hope that folks will take notice of how well I am doing at my age (63). I was truly concerned about my age, but knew there would never be a better time and for the most part, I am healthy. It wasn't easy by any means, but I am so glad I did it and am on my way to healing.
I'm 64 and either I'm used to my pain and disability or it's not "that" bad, but I sure am wondering about the trade off in having the surgery soon. I'm between a rock and a hard place because of serious timing issues, but I am really seesawing badly when I read about complications as well as new limits. The trade-offs are what are killing me, especially when the unknowability of the really bad ones is factored in!

I guess as others have said, "if only I knew I'd stay the same...!" The devil we know compared to the one who don't know, right? I was doing a lot better dealing with the "bad news" that my spine had deteriorated by 18 deg in 14 months - better than I'm dealing with having learned recently that in fact, it seemingly had NOT changed in that period. Finally, had another Xray done locally so the same radiologist could do an "apples to apples" comparison (or was it the same apples doing the comparing? :rolleyes:) That makes THREE scoli series done in as many months. Surely, I glow in the dark...

At any rate, now that it seems it's NOT progressing - at least, not fast, I'm completely muddled. The more I want to let the pain be a decider, the more it doesn't bother me! Haha. I'm sure I'm not alone in all this. Of course that kyphosis DID pop up out of nowhere, along with the height loss. SOMETHING must be changing spinally even if it's not the COBB. Could it all be rotation? :confused: Oh, help!?!.

gmw
07-25-2010, 05:35 AM
Back-out, I went through the same thoughts of "if I knew it would not get any worse I could live with it", but I pretty much knew it was going to get worse for sure if I did nothing. My disks were degenerating, the stenosis was worsening and at the same time, I was having the rotation issue. My PCP had a heart to heart with me and reminded me my health was good and I never knew when something would crop up that would make me unable to have the surgery. I know it is a very difficult decision. Like I've said before, I wanted to back out many times, but I am so grateful I didn't.

Feel free to send pm if you'd like.

Glenda