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debbei
11-05-2008, 08:07 AM
I have an appt with Dr. Neuwirth on December 4th, and I will definitely ask there. I am now weighing less than when I started, but I know the T3 to L3 hardware (stainless steel) has some significant weight. Last I was on the scale was a few days after I came home, and I think I had some water weight I was holding, it was about 5 lbs higher.

Does anyone have an idea? You see, I worry about the IMPORTANT things. :)

BTW, today is 3 weeks from surgery, and last night I stayed up watching the election results (YEAH!!!!) :) and took 2 pain pills at 11:00 PM. I slept all night and woke up at 7:30 to take another pill. That's the longest I've ever gone between pills, and I feel really good this morning.

Carmell
11-05-2008, 12:22 PM
Debbe,

Sounds like you are doing GREAT! Keep up the good work - slow and steady wins the race.

I'll bet Dr. Neuwirth has "sample" hardware he'd let you see and hold. My Braydon has adjustable titanium rods. We were able to see and feel them before his surgery so we could get an understanding of what was going on inside. His titanium system weighs less than half a pound, total. Stainless may be heavier, especially since there is more of it (T3-L3 is a significant fusion area).

Let us know what Dr. Neuwirth says about the weight of the rods you have. I love interesting trivia like this.

Qikdraw
11-05-2008, 01:19 PM
I wonder if I can blame my weight gain on my hardware getting heavier? But then how do I explain my pot belly? :D

*sigh*

Glad to hear you are well enough to concentrate on the important issues Debbe! :D

Brad

titaniumed
11-05-2008, 03:05 PM
Debbe

6mm dia 316L stainless weighs 1.78474# per 12 foot length/12=.1487283# per foot.

Assuming you have about 20 screws at 2" long ea that equals 40 total inches for the screws.

Assuming you have 2 rods 6mm dia x 18" long ea x 2= 36 total inches for the rods.

This totals 76 inches. 76 inches=6.33 total feet

6.33 total feet X .1487283=.94145# Or 94% of 1lb or 15.04ounces

This is without calculating the stock removal from the threads and the possibllity of the drilled holes through the screw.
My screws from Synthes are hollow. They have a small hole drilled down through the screw which aids with alignment for screw placement.

This is also without calculating the increased dia of the screw head assy which is larger in dia.

With both factors, my best assumption would be 1lb.

titanium weighs 40% less than steel.

Brad, the pot belly is due to lead. (lead belly) lead and gold are close to one another as far as weight is concerned, about 1200 lbs per cubic foot. sorry.

I have the same problem

Ed

Susie*Bee
11-05-2008, 03:51 PM
Yep, it weighs hardly anything. Last time I was in to see my scoli doc, he showed me a hunk and let me hold it, and it probably weighed a few ounces at most. It was stainless steel... So our hardware does not give us an excuse for gaining weight. Some of you are sooooo lucky to have lost. Oh well! :rolleyes:

amae28
11-05-2008, 04:00 PM
I have stainless steel rods and my doctor told me that the two of those and (for me) the 26 screws together weigh around 2-2 1/2 pounds. I think they were estimating, but when I picked up the hardware in the office before my surgery it definitely felt like more than a pound. Obviously it probably depends on how many screws and how long of a fusion you have though.

Susie*Bee
11-05-2008, 04:55 PM
I should have said the hunk I held was only about 8 inches long. I have two rods about 20" long plus a shorter (8"?) rod, plus all the screws. My doctor said it wouldn't be more than about a couple of pounds total. Hope that helps better...

Carmell
11-05-2008, 06:06 PM
Nice to have an engineer/mathematician in the group, Ed. Glad someone else has the brain cells to take the time to figure all the calculations... helps make us feel better (or worse, if YOU want to be the one who is numerically driven). Also makes me feel my UNeducated guess was semi-accurate - hehe

debbei
11-05-2008, 07:20 PM
Thanks everyone,

a couple of pound is a couple of pounds! :) My husband teases me and says that at the rate prices are going up, he can sell me for scrap if we need $$. LOL

I'll be sure to ask Dr. N this question next month.

Thanks!

titaniumed
11-05-2008, 10:58 PM
Debbe

Supply and demand dictates pricing on all sorts of things like gasoline and metals. We are seeing gasoline prices lowering due to the drop in the demand. The same has happened with the metals sector. Here are the spot prices for some metals like copper,aluminum,nickle, etc. Most metals have cut in half in the last 3 months due to our current economic scenario.

http://www.kitcometals.com/charts/copper_historical.html

So, Im sorry to say that our scrap values are dropping and thats kind of sad. Show this to your husband so hes aware that that "trip" to the scrap yard might not yield his expectations.

You are like a T3-L3 right? Ohh, he would probably get about $5
Im a T2- Pelvis with the long screws, I might get about $6

If he gives you any guff, just tell him your worth $5 more than him. LOL

Carmell

Calculations and cost analysis in precision machining and metalworking is what I do for a living. When I saw the Ti guess at .5 lb I knew it was close and did some very simple math, not even using any of my software for estimation purposes. I just wanted to see, glad I could be of some assistance here on this.

I was at a metalworking show a few years ago, "westec" in La and watched one of these screws being made on a Tornos Deco swiss style cnc lathe. It took about 6 minutes to make and I had one in the car for a long time. About a month ago someone mentioned it here and I went out to the car to see if it was still there but it probably was thrown out at the car wash. They cost about $1000 ea. The lathe with tooling $300K engineering,programming, and set-up charges 25K. Other associated costs are pricy also, so there is quite an investment involved in making these. They are tricky little buggers!

Screws sold at Home Depot are made with a process called "cold heading" where wire spool stock is smashed in dies at a rate of 4000-8000 pcs per minute.So you see there is a big difference in engineering, methoding, and production rates and of course cost between spinal screws and deck screws.

So a screw, is just not any old screw.
Oh my cheek hurts.

Regards
Ed

Carmell
11-06-2008, 10:38 AM
Thanks again, Ed. Glad you can help us with the technical stuff. Machining and metalworks is interesting.

When Braydon has his expansion surgeries for his VEPTR rods (every 6-8 months) the surgeon lets him keep the locking clips (made if 100% titanium). He also gets to keep the expansion "sleeves" when they replace them with longer rods (when the sleeve has been expanded to the end). He has quite a collection of hardware after 14 expansion surgeries and 2 exchange surgeries. Maybe the metal markets will go up one day and we could cash them in for REAL money. I know the cost billed to my insurance was NOT chump change. His original rods were billed at $25,000+ for two rods, sleeves and locking clips. With each expansion surgery, they replace the locking clip with new ones. Each locking clip is billed at $1500 (yes, that's EACH - Two each surgery) to the ins company. You can't tell me the hospital is paying anywhere CLOSE to that. My surgeon said that they pay Synthes approx $50 for each locking clip. My "non profit" hospital is making a pretty penny on that item alone.

JoAnn5
11-06-2008, 11:47 AM
I think it's about 42 pounds ;):D

Well that's my story.... and i'm stickin' to it!! lol

Qikdraw
11-06-2008, 12:54 PM
Brad, the pot belly is due to lead. (lead belly) lead and gold are close to one another as far as weight is concerned, about 1200 lbs per cubic foot. sorry.

I have the same problem

Ed

LOL Ed!

So are you saying my lead belly may actually be gold? I better not tell my wife or I'll end up as jewelry... :D

Brad

txmarinemom
11-06-2008, 02:14 PM
My husband teases me and says that at the rate prices are going up, he can sell me for scrap if we need $$. LOL

Deb, it is SO awesome to hear how great you're coming along. Carmell's right about slow and steady, and even those who are fortunate enough to seem to zip through early recovery often hit spots where things seem to stall (as I believe was mentioned in the thread rated 5 stars by our "Comedic Therapist", Ed :)). The whole process seems to balance out.

My Stryker XIA system (6mm Vitallium rods - which I still haven't seen anyone else wearing - and titanium screws) weighs in at 6 oz. In comparison, Hanson told me the same XIA system in 316 SS (the XIA is available in 316, titanium and Vitallium) would be slightly over 1 lb.

BTW, I'm sure I've posted snippets of Hanson's answer when I asked about the risk of frx (fatigue fracture) with Vitallium - and the system/material in general, but here's what he had to say:


"... there are two factors that come into play when evaluating the strength of
the material; both the material itself and the overall radius of the rods.

As the radius of the rod increases (SS is only available in 5.5 mm or 6.35 mm
rods, versus 6.0 mm for the Vitallium) the overall strength of the rod goes up by a factor of 4.

I think a 6.0 mm vitallium rod is a good compromise and certainly is quite strong. "

Sure 316/316L SS are heavier, but whether it's noticeable? Who can really say unless they've had 316/316L and then something else ...

I really had to laugh at the scrap metal comments. My family knows I want to donate my body to science (hopefully not anytime soon!), and I actually want to know if it's worth it to have my hardware removed for scrap - LOL.

Macabre? Probably. But as much as I paid for it, it's kind of a valid consideration! :)

Carmell's mention of the cost vs. consumer retail of Synthes locking clips reminded me of when Hanson started doing VBS (stapling) in June. We were discussing the surgery, and he described the tins used to hold the Nitinol c-clamps in an ice bath (they straighten at ambient temperature). I laughed and said "probably $5,000 muffin tins ...", and he said "Yeah ... pretty much!".

Regards,
Pam

titaniumed
11-06-2008, 03:14 PM
Brad, lead not gold. nice try, dream on.

Lead is used as ballast in keels of sailboats, and to bend our rods and spines foward to increase lumbar lordosis through bone remodeling. LOL

I wonder how many men with potbellies have had flatback problems? Probably not too many.

Pam, I love the 'comedic therapist' title! Wow, I need to get a name tag made immediatly! and doctors coat!
Oh this reminds me of Benny R.I.P.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=810TQyT2KXI

My hospital experiance was nothing like this. Is it like this in England?

I had a doctor that suggested that I donate my body to science, but I think that we are worth more in the pre-surgical state. I wonder if any of the medical museums actually have a spine on display that has been fused?
It might be of more value to donate with the hardware. You know, someone is going to come along and say
" wow that guy got screwed!"

I wonder if there are any surgeons that still use wires? Interesting to know if "todays modern hardware" has totally replaced the use of luque wires? It was the "gold standard" years ago with extreme paralytic cases.

Enuf fun for today.

Ed

loves to skate
11-06-2008, 03:38 PM
Ed, Thanks for cheering me up on this rainy gloomy day in the Northeast. It is one of those days that I can feel my rods and nuts and bolts. You have a great sense of humor. Sally

Carmell
11-06-2008, 04:31 PM
Hi Ed (aka comedic therapist - I LIKE IT!)

Since you asked, there is a place in Philly called the Mutter Museum. http://www.collphyphil.org/mutter.asp Filled with all kinds of medical oddities. I'd LOVE to go see this place. I believe this is where the skeleton of John Merrick (the Elephant Man) is housed. There are skeletons of people who have the rare FOP disease - where their muscles turn to bone... very sad situation.

I'm liking this thread too much... better go get some real work done...

Qikdraw
11-06-2008, 04:53 PM
Brad, lead not gold. nice try, dream on.

Dammit! :(


Lead is used as ballast in keels of sailboats, and to bend our rods and spines foward to increase lumbar lordosis through bone remodeling. LOL

Hrmm... I don't want to end up as ballast in my father's sailboat... I suppose I'm gonna have to do some smelting.


Oh this reminds me of Benny R.I.P.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=810TQyT2KXI

Oh the memoires of sneaking to watch Benny Hill. My mother did not like us watching it. lol (I'm not sure why :D)


I wonder if there are any surgeons that still use wires? Interesting to know if "todays modern hardware" has totally replaced the use of luque wires? It was the "gold standard" years ago with extreme paralytic cases.


Que? I have luque, (see xray below) should I be wary?? Granted its been 25 years now, but still.. :p

LisaMS
11-07-2008, 02:06 AM
Ed,

So I guess from your description of how precisely these screws are engineered, I probably shouldn't go to Home Depot to buy my own hardware to save money . . . ? :D

Suzy
11-07-2008, 10:57 PM
OMG! What was this thread about?? I have been cracking up for the last few minutes??

Oh Yea Debbei... Hard wear weight. Sorry, hardware is pretty light as most have said. I wondered the same thing. My Dr. chuckled when I asked, he knew where I was going with that question. Tell your husband you are worth your weight in gold, not scrap metal!!

Ed, so glad you are doing well and the shoulder surgery did not dampen the wonderful sense of humor you have. You must have been "sucking it in" when we met, I saw no pot belly. Were you trying to impress me? ;)

As for donating bodies to science it came to me when I went to "the body exhibit" and did not see ANY body with ANY hard wear. Not a hip, wrist, leg or spine with metal. I think they dropped the ball in that area. I did hear that a lot of the bodies are Chinese pheasant's from the out skirts of humanity so that might be why. But no scoliosis on display either....

titaniumed
11-08-2008, 03:02 AM
Suzy

What is this thread about? I don't know really, no actually it morphed from the hardware weight question from Debbe to comedic diversion off the seriousness of our main subject matter by utilizing a comedic genius named Benny Hill.

When Pam mentioned "comedic therapist", I remembered Benny's Hospital video from 30 years ago,and how could you forget something like that. It has to be the funniest medically related clip to date. At the time that I posted it, I was looking for scoli surgical videos for Julie (doodie) and was sidetracked.

As far as my current psychological, physical, and weight status goes, after being under such heavy sedation over the last 15 months with 4 surgeries completed, I believe my body has finally cleansed itself of all the pharmaceuticals and anesthesia, and am feeling so much better. Physically, the end results of my scoli surgeries after being in so much pain for all those years, are the equivalent to popping a balloon. The release of tension that I received is insurmountable. The shoulder is improving rapidly and I guess this has resulted in me eating like a horse and gaining weight and cracking jokes and installing humor whenever possible.

So, I guess this is part of the healing process for me and hopefully everyone else. Deep down we all want to help one another whether it is done with fact filled information, or supporting each other emotionally or maybe with a little humor.

Benny Hill realized that slapstick was universal. Those programs were broadcast in about 150 countries and the message was delivered without any communication issues.

Cracking up huh? I guess it worked
Just be careful because believe it or not, I blew my belly button out on a comedy,(beginnings of a umbilical hernia) and even though my vascular surgeon gave me a stitch or two, its still a minor issue and when I laugh, I have to put a finger on it for support. With all the fun I have, I might as well crazy glue my finger to my belly button permanently. Now that's not funny!
Ed

debbei
11-08-2008, 08:42 AM
You guys all crack me up. Thanks for the good chuckles. And Suzy, I will tell my hubby that I'm worth my weight in gold. :)

txmarinemom
11-08-2008, 09:13 AM
... Cracking up huh? I guess it worked.

Just be careful because believe it or not, I blew my belly button out on a comedy,(beginnings of a umbilical hernia) and even though my vascular surgeon gave me a stitch or two, its still a minor issue and when I laugh, I have to put a finger on it for support. With all the fun I have, I might as well crazy glue my finger to my belly button permanently. Now that's not funny!

Ed ... you know I adore you, and I hate to laugh AT my friends, but now *I'm* cracking up! Sorry ... but it IS funny. Only you.

The visual of you supporting your belly button with a finger while you laugh (like a little pressure release valve) is just too much - LOL! I can only imagine I'd get the giggles everytime I had to do it if it were me, and then I'd NEVER be able to stop laughing!

If it makes you feel any better, after I (I know ... Bad Pam!) had a laugh at your expense, I had one at mine ...

It got me thinking about when I was pregnant (with each kid) and the day (vividly) I realized my usual "innie" belly button had become an "outie" (like some bizarre "I'm done!" button on a Thanksgiving turkey). And it just kept getting bigger and BIGGER (daily, it seemed!).

I never really wore maternity clothes with either pregnancy, and the "outie" most definitely was visible under the thin t-shirts and tank tops I favored (big and pregnant during summer in Houston is ill-advised ;-) I tried several things to smooth it out (bandaids, scotch tape, etc.), and finally settled on a daily patch of duct tape under my clothes.

Maybe you could try that for support? It *was* rather effective. ROFL!

The residue's a booger, but nothing a little Goo-Gone won't handle ... :)

Have a great weekend, all ...

Pam

Randi_K
02-04-2009, 08:27 PM
I had all my hardware removed about 6 years ago, and my doc let me keep it. I left the hospital with a plastic baggie of rods and hooks, and parts of some screws. It weighed less than 2 pounds.

Is it weird that I wear a piece of hardware on a chain as a necklace??

titaniumed
02-05-2009, 01:02 AM
Randi,

Nice of you to pick one of the better threads here! LOL

Wearing your hardware weird? No, not at all. All sorts of people keep momentos, and for different reasons.

Parts of some screws? So that means that the screw broke off.
I might wear the screw head, and if someone asked, Id say that the rest of this screw is buried somewhere in my back.

After all, its part of you. Its your story, your statement.

You sure did put things to the test with all your crashes, all my crashes were before my surgery.

Ed