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mbeckoff
04-13-2011, 09:40 PM
Well, I finally found out what has been causing my pain. I have a broken rod near the bottom on my left side. There is , also, quite a large area of non fusion. So now I have to figure out when I should go and get this surgery done. I am in the middle of packing and am leaving Monday to go to CA to look for a house. I will have three major surgeries in one year.

Melissa

Confusedmom
04-13-2011, 09:45 PM
Hi Melissa,

Well, I know it really may not seem like it, but I think this is actually a good thing! I'm actually really glad they have pinpointed a problem that they can fix and maybe that will relieve you of your pain (post-recovery, of course). I hope you are seeing a surgeon who specializes in revision. I am not so sure about your previous surgeon. You deserve to get better--and soon!!

:),
Evelyn

mbeckoff
04-13-2011, 09:57 PM
Do you think that I should wait and have it done in CA? Is fixing a broken rod considered revision surgery?

jrnyc
04-13-2011, 09:58 PM
i agree with what Ev wrote...
at least you finally know what is causing all your pain!
it is rotten luck...but at least it is clear what needs to be done next...
i am shocked no doctor figured it out sooner!
i hope it can be fixed quickly after you move....
there are some great scoli surgeons in CA!

i wrote at he same time that you did...so i just saw your post about waiting....
i just assumed that you would wait, since it is easy to find good scoli doctors in CA....
i thought it would be easier to find a good one there than where you are living now...
it certainly sounds like a revision....unless they can call it a repair or correction....i would expect insurance must pay for it...

jess

Confusedmom
04-13-2011, 10:00 PM
Yes, I think it's revision surgery. Also, you're almost a year out from the original surgery, so the areas of non-fusion are probably of concern--right?

You should probably pose this question to Linda. But if it were me I would want the best darn revision surgeon out there! (Even if that means waiting to go to CA.)

Best wishes,
Evelyn

mbeckoff
04-13-2011, 10:15 PM
Yes my original surgery was May 4th. Waiting until I get to CA would make my life easier not less painful just easier. I have 2 appts July 22 with Dr Robert Pashman and July 13 with Dr Samuel Bedermen. What do you suggest I do? I am planning on being out in CA the middle of June. SHould I call and tell them what has happened and see if they can get me in any earlier. Does anyone else suggest another doctor to see instead of these two? Should I go to more than one? I am so confused about this matter

Thanks for any advice you might have

Melissa

Elisa
04-13-2011, 10:23 PM
I don't have any advice for you Melissa, still new to all of this surgery stuff but I was curious to know how exactly you know you broke a rod and do you have any idea how this happened? I guess I'm just trying to prepare myself just in case my son has this happen later on, thanks. I hope you get everything back in order soon. Three major surgeries in a year is a lot.

jrnyc
04-13-2011, 10:47 PM
are you interested in Dr Anand?...he is right near Dr. Pashman at Cedars Sinai Hospital....passed his office when i went to see Anand....

Anand only does minimally invasive procedure for all scoli surgery...that is what he told me when i saw him a year ago...he was very emphatic that in his opinion, no other procedure is justified in terms of trauma to muscles, etc...
note...i am repeating what he told me, not saying it is medical fact....
i went to see him to learn about lumbar minimally invasive approach, because at the time, several people on forum were writing that MI approach couldn't be done for lumbar scoli, which proved to be untrue...

best of luck in whatever you decide....

jess

JenniferG
04-13-2011, 11:45 PM
I'm with confusedmom. I think it's great that you've finally found a reason for this terrible pain. Also shocked that it wasn't discovered sooner. You would think it would have been one of the first investigations. However, it sounds like getting away from your previous surgeon might be the best thing you could do, and finding a great revision surgeon is the next step. So far you have two lined up so that's great. I would definitely phone and see if, thanks to this latest news, they can fit you in sooner. It probably doesn't feel like it, but I think you're finally on the road to getting fixed. Good luck with the move.

mbeckoff
04-14-2011, 07:38 AM
I don't have any advice for you Melissa, still new to all of this surgery stuff but I was curious to know how exactly you know you broke a rod and do you have any idea how this happened? I guess I'm just trying to prepare myself just in case my son has this happen later on, thanks. I hope you get everything back in order soon. Three major surgeries in a year is a lot.

I broke the rod either when I fell in January or because I did too much bending. The way I understand it is that the rod is strong enough to withstand a certain amount of bends and when you hit that amount you are supposed to be fused. Where it broke is the start of the area that did not fuse. I do not think the teens would have this problem.
Melissa

mbeckoff
04-14-2011, 07:49 AM
I do feel better knowing what the problem is. I do think that having my surgery in CA is a great solution to my packing and moving issue. I will call the doctors in CA today and see what can be done about getting an earlier appointment

Melissa

Lilysaidwhat
04-14-2011, 10:04 AM
So sorry Melissa but agree that at least you know now.

Do you have titanium?

mbeckoff
04-14-2011, 10:29 AM
So sorry Melissa but agree that at least you know now.

Do you have titanium?

Yes they are titanium. Is there something harder to use?

Melissa

Pooka1
04-14-2011, 10:33 AM
Yes they are titanium. Is there something harder to use?

Melissa

I don't think they consider hardness but rather stress and strain properties which are related to hardness. Hopefully Ti Ed willl explain this as he is a materials wizard. :-)

Elisa
04-14-2011, 10:41 AM
Yes, Ed should pop by and explain the different metals used in rods. He gave a great description a while ago but for the life of me I can't seem to find that post again and would love to hear what he has to say. :-)

LindaRacine
04-14-2011, 12:01 PM
Yes my original surgery was May 4th. Waiting until I get to CA would make my life easier not less painful just easier. I have 2 appts July 22 with Dr Robert Pashman and July 13 with Dr Samuel Bedermen. What do you suggest I do? I am planning on being out in CA the middle of June. SHould I call and tell them what has happened and see if they can get me in any earlier. Does anyone else suggest another doctor to see instead of these two? Should I go to more than one? I am so confused about this matter

Thanks for any advice you might have

Melissa
Hi Melissa...

I think sooner is better than later, although you're not likely to do more damage by waiting. It's just that you'll have to go a lot longer with the pain. If you want, I can contact Dr. Bedermen, and I'm fairly certain he'd be helpful in getting something done quickly. This is a relatively cut and dried type of surgery. They'll probably remove the old rod(s), add more fusion material to the area that didn't fuse, examine the rest of the levels to be sure there aren't other areas of non-fusion, then put new rods in. Recovery should be much faster than in your initial surgery.

Let me know if you want me to contact Dr. Bedermen for you. If you like, you can contact me at lindaracine @ earthlink.net (without the spaces).

Regards,
Linda

--Linda

Doodles
04-14-2011, 01:19 PM
Melissa--
You've been through the mill with this. At least the reason has been found for your pain. I'd say, California here I come--for the surgery! Good luck to you. Janet

lray
04-14-2011, 02:53 PM
What a relief for you that your pain issues have been diagnosed at last. Thank goodness for Linda - sounds like she can really speed this up for you. Yes, there are some great surgeons here in California. (Welcome!) I wish the best for you.

pilar
04-14-2011, 03:22 PM
Melissa,
I am so sorry about your rod and non-fusion. I had my surgery with Dr. PASHMAN 4 months ago. He is a very good and skilled surgeron. He did an amazing job with me. You can look at my xrays. He does revision surgeries too.
Cedars is a GREAT hospital as well, you'll like it!
Good luck!
Pilar

golfnut
04-14-2011, 08:48 PM
Melissa,
I'm sorry you still have pain, but at least you finally know the cause. A good surgeon can get this taken care of so that you can eventually be without complications. Did your surgeon use BMP? I am feeling great after 3 months with only a few aches here and there throughout the day, but know that total fusion after a year is the only way that my surgery can be considered successful. It sounds like you have some good surgeons in mind to do the revision surgery. Best of luck. You deserve it for all that you've been through.

backissues
04-14-2011, 08:59 PM
Melissa,
Good luck!! At least you have an answer to what has caused your pain. Please keep us up to date on your progress. We are cheering for you.

Irene

leannebr
04-15-2011, 01:07 AM
What type of pain did you have with this ? Just wondering as I have new pain and it feels like i cant support myself too well all of a sudden. kind of feels like when you get the wind knoxked out of you from behind. Ive been to other type drs lately for stuff and I now am measuring at my old height before the surgery 5 ft 5 in. I was 5 ft 7 in after the scoli surgery. I can see new skin change extra skin ) on my hip area now..Have stinging cutting all along my spine in 2 areas with every movement. Feels like a heavy weight is on the thorasic area. I am 5 1/2 mos post op.
What were your symptoms? And I do really wish you the best in your next surgery. I think my fusion is considered delayed as well now. I am 50. How old are you/

titaniumed
04-15-2011, 02:56 AM
Melissa

Iím so sorry about this....Its unfortunate that pseudarthrosis (non-unions) happen. Itís the one thing we have to worry about in having scoliosis surgery. Its not perfect science.

Let your future surgeon make his selection on methods and hardware, it doesnít matter all that much what you have in there metals wise if the fusion doesnít happen. Any metal, or stacked rods will break.

I think that the first thing is handling your insurance...Insurance companies sometimes donít like ďout of stateĒ scenarios...but the laws have changed??? The insurance question needs to be addressed. Surgeons can help with that as they do like getting paid....

FLT ran around with 8? levels un-fused for many months....hard to believe she hung in there, but like Dr Transfeldt told her, you just cannot slap BMP in there and expect things to fuse. He must have very specific procedures on this. You will need a top rate surgeon.

Try to take it easy right now and donít lift anything or bend. I know your moving, but broken rods are broken rods.

Always remember that you will get this fixed. Sometimes it takes a few attempts....
Ed

mbeckoff
04-15-2011, 08:13 AM
What type of pain did you have with this ? Just wondering as I have new pain and it feels like i cant support myself too well all of a sudden. kind of feels like when you get the wind knoxked out of you from behind. Ive been to other type drs lately for stuff and I now am measuring at my old height before the surgery 5 ft 5 in. I was 5 ft 7 in after the scoli surgery. I can see new skin change extra skin ) on my hip area now..Have stinging cutting all along my spine in 2 areas with every movement. Feels like a heavy weight is on the thorasic area. I am 5 1/2 mos post op.
What were your symptoms? And I do really wish you the best in your next surgery. I think my fusion is considered delayed as well now. I am 50. How old are you/

Your pain sounds very much like mine. I will be 52 in June
Melissa

mbeckoff
04-15-2011, 08:20 AM
Melissa

Iím so sorry about this....Its unfortunate that pseudarthrosis (non-unions) happen. Itís the one thing we have to worry about in having scoliosis surgery. Its not perfect science.

Let your future surgeon make his selection on methods and hardware, it doesnít matter all that much what you have in there metals wise if the fusion doesnít happen. Any metal, or stacked rods will break.

I think that the first thing is handling your insurance...Insurance companies sometimes donít like ďout of stateĒ scenarios...but the laws have changed??? The insurance question needs to be addressed. Surgeons can help with that as they do like getting paid....

FLT ran around with 8? levels un-fused for many months....hard to believe she hung in there, but like Dr Transfeldt told her, you just cannot slap BMP in there and expect things to fuse. He must have very specific procedures on this. You will need a top rate surgeon.

Try to take it easy right now and donít lift anything or bend. I know your moving, but broken rods are broken rods.

Always remember that you will get this fixed. Sometimes it takes a few attempts....
Ed


Do we know why non-unions happen ?

As to the insurance, I do not think it should be an issue. I live in NC but my insurance is BCBS of IL. Right now , we are on COBRA .

This is a stupid question but if the rod is broken already what more damage can I do if I bend or lift something? Can a rod break where you have fused?

Melissa

LindaRacine
04-15-2011, 11:37 AM
Hi Melissa...

No one really knows why one level doesn't fuse and the others do. Perhaps there was less fusion material at that spot. Or, maybe there was a small amount of movement at that level.

Since you're more than 6 months postop, you shouldn't have any restrictions on bending, and you should be able to lift up to 50 pounds or more (if you do so safely). Since you have a move coming up, my advice would be to be a little cautious about how much you do.

Having a broken rod probably doesn't make any difference as far as bending or lifting. Sometimes, the rod can move toward the skin. If that becomes the case, you'll be restricted by the pain of the rod poking into the soft tissue.

Regards,
Linda

mbeckoff
04-15-2011, 06:46 PM
Thank you Linda. I am seeing Dr Bederman next Wednesday

Melissa

jrnyc
04-15-2011, 07:45 PM
so are you living in CA already, Melissa...?
isn't Bederman in Irvine, CA...?
or are you commuting to surgeons out there....?

i know you will find an excellent surgeon in CA without any difficulty...and plan the next step using the surgeon you feel most comfortable with

jess

JenniferG
04-15-2011, 09:37 PM
Good luck Melissa. I hope this all goes smoothly for you from here on in and you quickly get the treatment you have needed for so long.

mbeckoff
04-15-2011, 09:50 PM
so are you living in CA already, Melissa...?
isn't Bederman in Irvine, CA...?
or are you commuting to surgeons out there....?

i know you will find an excellent surgeon in CA without any difficulty...and plan the next step using the surgeon you feel most comfortable with

jess

My husband is working out there now and next week I am going out to CA to look at houses and thanks to Linda I got into to see Dr Bederman on Wednesday

Melissa

Elisa
04-15-2011, 09:57 PM
My husband is working out there now and next week I am going out to CA to look at houses and thanks to Linda I got into to see Dr Bederman on Wednesday

Melissa
That was fast! See, it helps to have friends in high places eh. :-D

LindaRacine
04-16-2011, 12:44 PM
If you already have titanium screws, they won't be able to use stainless steel rods. And, I think it's unlikely that they'll want to remove all the existing screws, so I think this is a non-issue.

--Linda

Edit: Sorry, I was looking at the first page of this thread when I posted this. Should have at least quoted one of the previous posts.

LindaRacine
04-16-2011, 12:49 PM
My husband is working out there now and next week I am going out to CA to look at houses and thanks to Linda I got into to see Dr Bederman on Wednesday

Melissa

Hi...

In my discussions with Dr. Bederman over the past few days, I found out that he's now using the Mazor robot for screw placement. Looks very interesting:

Mazor Robot video (http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=5&ved=0CD4QtwIwBA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3Dijk S_sjPkCo&rct=j&q=mazor%20robot&ei=ddapTcy1L5C6sAPMpLH6DA&usg=AFQjCNFI8VXZPN0Pf970IvuJ0oC0rsTiaA&cad=rja)

Regards,
Linda

LindaRacine
04-16-2011, 01:17 PM
Here's a press release about the robot:

Drs. Samuel Bederman and Nitin Bhatia are the first surgeons on the west coast to use the SpineAssist Robot for spine surgery. It has now been in use for two months and has improved the accuracy of spinal instrumentation used for spinal fusions, fractures, and scoliosis surgery. UC Irvine, a world recognized leader in robotic surgery is the only site on the west coast to have this advanced technology.

Dr. Bederman, who specializes in scoliosis and spinal deformity surgery considers this new technology a breakthrough from traditional techniques. The robot allows for highly accurate preoperative planning and insertion of screws used to stabilize the spine and correct deformities. Although it can be used for minimally invasive techniques, Bederman believes this technology is most beneficial in situations of severe deformity or previous fusions in which the normal anatomy has been distorted.

Much of the surgery is carried out days before it actually takes place with virtual planning on sophisticated software using the patient's CT scan. The computer workstation is connected to a soda-can-sized robot which is placed on the spine. The meticulous plan is accurate to within 1mm and the robot moves into a position to direct the insertion of screws one at a time. All of the work is still carried out by the surgeon himself as the robot works as an 'assistant' for the operation. In this regard, the robot aids in accuracy, limiting the amount of xrays needed and less exposure and blood loss during the operation.

More information can be obtained by visiting www.spineatirvine.com or by calling 714-456-7012 for appointments.

leannebr
04-19-2011, 07:52 PM
How did you find out or determine it was a broken rod? CT or x ray ?? What were your symptoms like? I have so much pain and dont know why -yet.

mbeckoff
04-20-2011, 10:06 AM
How did you find out or determine it was a broken rod? CT or x ray ?? What were your symptoms like? I have so much pain and dont know why -yet.


I am in so much pain and when I went to the surgeon and he took x rays,it was right there on the x ray. Everyone could see it. Then he sent me for a CT

Melissa