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fierceliketiger
10-12-2009, 09:59 AM
Hi all,
Sorry I am not around much anymore. Sitting, again is getting rather painful, and most days I am trying to keep busy as much as possible as part of my pain coping mechanism.

I'll be having another surgery to replace the broken rod, and to change the type of the rods to vitallium. I have checked with other surgeons, and thus far everyone is on board with this. There was an area of non-fusion around L4 and L5 that resulted in the break. The popping and grinding is pretty unbearable. In the last few months I have gone from being able to walk ten miles or bike (on a cruiser style bike on a paved bike path...no mountain biking) 20 to 30 miles a day to less than 5 biking and 1 mile walking. Its pretty depressing. I was feeling so good in May before breaking it in June, so I am really hoping to get back to that.

Other than that, nothing else to report. I hope everyone else is doing well!

asccbodypro
10-12-2009, 11:07 AM
FLT,

I'm so sorry to hear your having such a difficult time with things. I can't even imagine dealing with broken rods or how uncomfortable and painful it is. Try and hang in there and good luck. Any idea as to when your next surgery will be? I will certainly be keeping my fingers crossed for you! Take care.

jrnyc
10-12-2009, 04:34 PM
Hi Fierce
thanks for writing back to me with P.M.

what kind of metal did you say they will use to replace the rods?? my surgeons are debating stainless steel vs. titanium....

..it sounds like everyone agrees with the plan, & that is comforting, so you know you will be doing the right thing...please let the forum know when the surgery is, so we can all keep you in thoughts & prayers!

bet of luck
jess

JenniferG
10-12-2009, 05:32 PM
That's bad news, Fierce. Did your surgeon give any idea why you didn't fuse properly in that area? That's my only concern now, am I fusing and am I doing anything that may prevent fusion in some area.

From my reading here, replacing a broken rod is a much lesser surgery than your original so at least you're not facing that again.

Keep us informed, when you're able. I hope it's not long before you get your surgery. Hopefully then, things will work out much better. Do you know if they'll use BMP?

fierceliketiger
10-12-2009, 08:22 PM
jrnyc- They are using Vitallium to replace the broken titanium.

asccbodypro- I will find out when they have scheduled my surgery for by the end of this week

JenniferG - They said its nothing I did, I had a LOT of work done around that area. I had a vertebrate removed at that level, as well as some building up of the sacrum (it was deformed). They will be using BMPs again. The rest of the fusion is near 100%, the part around the break was around 50%

Shari
10-12-2009, 08:55 PM
Hi Fierce,

I feel so bad that a young, active person like yourself has to go through this.

I hope your Doctor can help you soon. You are in our hearts, thoughts and prayers. I know everyone of us here would like to hug and comfort you. I wish you were within arms reach.

Keep your chin up, I know it's hard, but remember God only gives us what we can handle... what a strong young woman you are!!!

Hugs,
Shari

titaniumed
10-12-2009, 09:54 PM
Hi Tiger

I will ditto Shari,

You know Pam (tejasmarinemom) has vitallium rods. Thats some tough stuff.

I cant imagine what the popping and grinding must be like. That must be horrible.

Sorry this had to happen. They will get you fixed up soon.

Ed

jrnyc
10-12-2009, 09:55 PM
Hi again Fierce
i looked up that vitallium...said it has been used since 1932..i never heard of it before...wonder why it is not used more often in fusions...??

meant to say...
best of luck
jess

titaniumed
10-12-2009, 10:07 PM
Jess

My guess is that it is probably hard to bend........Pam would know.

Titanium has excellent corrosive resistance. Even better than 316 stainless.

Stainless does rust, you just cannot see it with the naked eye. Without a passivation process (nitric acid dip) it will rust.

Pedicle screws are usually Titanium due to ossification. I read that someplace.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ossification

Ed

Doodles
10-12-2009, 10:19 PM
Fierce Tiger--
I'm so sorry you're going through this! Been wondering where you've been. Will this be the same doctor? I so hope this solves it for you and you will be back to a real recovery this time. Lots of thoughts of prayers coming your way. Janet

Jimbo
10-12-2009, 11:01 PM
That's a hardcore setback. Vitallium, now that sounds pretty cool :)

A fierce tiger like yourself can take this, you will be back in the jungle in no time *roar* :D

jrnyc
10-13-2009, 02:03 PM
Ed..thanks for the info...

Fierce..i hope this will be the last surgery you ever need, that it will do the trick, & relieve the pain for good!

take care, feel better
jess

loves to skate
10-13-2009, 04:34 PM
Hi again Fierce
i looked up that vitallium...said it has been used since 1932..i never heard of it before...wonder why it is not used more often in fusions...??

meant to say...
best of luck
jess
Pam had said that it is extremely expensive compared to titanium and stainless steel, but very very strong. It was used on her because she is very active and plays softball and does a lot of sliding while base running.
Sally

fierceliketiger
10-13-2009, 09:43 PM
Thanks for the good wishes everyone! I have read that vitallium is 1.5 times stronger than titanium...I sure hope so! Actually, mostly I hope they slather on those BMPs thick and it fuses correctly.
I should know the surgical date by the end of the week. :-) I am mostly just excited to get back to the way it was in May.

I am going to try to weasel a bit of the broken titanium out of the doctor...I doubt it will work, but if it does I am getting that sucker cut down and wearing it as a necklace. haha.

jrnyc- I sure hope its the last surgery I need! This will be number 5 (if you count the anterior and posterior surgeries separately), the first two were lipomas tethered around the spinal cord.

A side note, just to be clear. There is no new screws being placed. Vitallium and Titanium are compatible. So that is fantastic news as far as I am concerned.

Lura
10-13-2009, 09:58 PM
Hi Fierce, butting in here, sorry! My 17 yr. old son Alex (Down syndrome little guy) has a broken rod. We see the dr. tomorrow. Alex appears to have difficulty getting in and out of the car, in and out of bed and at times pulling up his pants. Going down steps appears to "jar" him. My question is about the discomfort you feel. Alex is challenged a bit verbally and has an amazing pain threashold (he took no pain meds one week after surgery in 2005 ~ 14 vertebrae were fused). After reading this I need to clarify that I am wondering what kind of discomfort you feel. Sorry I ramble!!

fierceliketiger
10-14-2009, 12:32 PM
Lura,
I am SO sorry to hear that your son broke a rod. It seems that the pain is different for everyone, I was told some people break rods and don't even know it. I can't imagine that. I am glad he has a great pain threshold, though I am sorry he had to find out he has it!
Stairs for me at this moment in time are not something I love to encounter. Going up seems to be less painful than going down. In fact, curbs and anything where I have to step down is pretty bad. My rod is broken on the right side. When I step down with my right foot on a stair, curb or anything it feels like the broken ends of the rods "bump" together and it feels almost like an electrical shock. I know it can't possibly be that, since titanium is only about as conductive as the human body...but it sure feels that way. Getting in and out of the car is the same...I think it is the step down out of the car. Also, car rides with potholes make it feel like the ends of the broken rod are rubbing together (and again with the electrical charge feeling), I also found out that I hate newly paved roads with the sound canceling striations, those seem to vibrate the rods as well. Getting up or moving positions results in either a grinding/popping feeling (and subsequently an shock feeling), or just the electrical shock feeling. Each time it pops its pretty jarring. I know it sounds dumb, but it really feels like it sounds, the rods "pop", just like breaking a rod feels almost exactly like one would imagine it to.Its painful, yes, but it is mostly just a really uncomfortable feeling. I hope that helps.

Lura
10-14-2009, 11:00 PM
Fierce,
Thank you so much for the info. We met with the surgeon today and his reply regarding everyone feeling something different mirrored yours. Alex's right rod is broken as well and interestingly, going down stairs appears to jar him as well, particularly when stepping with his right foot. My dad has a boston terrier that barks when excited and Alex jumps (startled) every time and now doesn't want to go visit Poppa, so I assume that when he jumps it hurts as well. Your information is very much appreciated, thank you so much!

Lura

Shari
10-14-2009, 11:52 PM
Hi Lura,

You are proof that we truly have blessed people in this world.

You and your family are in my prayers now!!!

My silence here is speaking volumes,
Shari

P.S. I guess I was just meant to shed some tears today.

debbei
10-15-2009, 06:26 AM
Fierce,
Thank you so much for the info. We met with the surgeon today and his reply regarding everyone feeling something different mirrored yours. Alex's right rod is broken as well and interestingly, going down stairs appears to jar him as well, particularly when stepping with his right foot. My dad has a boston terrier that barks when excited and Alex jumps (startled) every time and now doesn't want to go visit Poppa, so I assume that when he jumps it hurts as well. Your information is very much appreciated, thank you so much!

Lura

Lura,

I am so sorry that your son has a broken rod. Life just isn't fair sometimes. Your family is in my prayers. ((Hugs))

Lura
10-15-2009, 12:56 PM
Thank you for your warm thoughts Shari and Debbie. You join a handful of other women who make me thankful for this site! During Alex's first surgery I was among a group of mom's whose kiddos were going through surgery at around the same time and the support was amazing. Thank you so much for adding to my list of supporters! It goes both ways, though, I am here for all of you as well!

Lura

fierceliketiger
10-15-2009, 08:26 PM
Lura,
Thank you so much for your post. I, like Shari shed a few tears when reading it, and then responding, thinking of Alex.
Anytime might be able to help, feel free to message me, even if you just need someone to "type" to.
Best wishes to you and Alex.
Did the surgeon say if Alex needs another surgery?

Lura
10-16-2009, 12:04 AM
Alex will have surgery to "fix" the non fused vertabrae. The doctor said that if Alex appeared not to be in pain, we could leave it, but I am certain Alex is uncomfortable and the doctor agreed once we went over some of his symptoms (your information validated this for me). We are going to try to wait until April due to weather and road conditions. We travel to Spokane, WA., so the roads can be pretty hairy. The x-ray yesterday showed that the rod hasn't moved, so waiting shouldn't bother anything. However, if things appear to get worse, we will do what we have to do. Scary, but the doctor assures me that this surgery is much easier than the first. I just want Alex as pain free as possible ~ he doesn't complain, but he is not his happy-go-lucky self either. I appreciate you and look forward to corresponding! Do you have a surgery date?

Lura

fierceliketiger
10-22-2009, 08:07 PM
I really hope that Alex's surgery goes well, and that the wait isn't too hard on him. I had my first and second surgeries for the fusion in November and December last year. I ended up going home on the two worst days for snow and ice in Iowa last year. I was bawling trying to get into the house because I my feet kept sliding out from under me. :(

I do have a surgery date now! November 5th. I go in on the 4th for pre-op. :) I am so excited to get it done. It has gotten even worse in the last two weeks. argh!

Lura
10-22-2009, 11:02 PM
Hi Fierce!
I've been looking daily for an update on you. Glad you have a date, you will be in my thoughts and prayers!! Thank you for being so kind and supportive to us. Alex is an amazing young man who loves to dress up like a pirate, pretend to be Harry Potter, and shower our family with so much love. He is such an angel and I hate that he must go through so much, but he is a trooper and an inspiration. I feel so blessed to have found your post prior to Alex's appt. Everything you described was exactly what I was observing but Alex had no words for, you are an angel sent from God!!

Lura

Shari
10-23-2009, 01:42 AM
Lura and Tiger,

I wish nothing but the best for the both of you. The most special thing, is that Tiger, will be able to help you understand what Alex may be going through, and the things that she can do that helps her. Kinda like giving Alex a magic voice!

I've got to stop talking to you 2, I'm running out of tissues, gonna have to switch to TP soon;).

Good Luck, Gods speed,
Shari

Doodles
10-23-2009, 06:07 PM
Lura & Tiger--
I'm with Shari. It's wonderful you two found one another and Tiger can often voice the concerns. Thoughts and prayers for both of you and hope this is a last and healing surgery! Janet

Lura
10-23-2009, 10:47 PM
Good night Shari and Janet!!! Love you guys!!!
I know I am sooooo lucky on this forum ~ I just seem to find the perfect people who are without a doubt gifts from God! Tiger has helped more than she can ever know. Alex is an amazing young man and I wouldn't trade him for the world, but his inability to communicate certain ideas, fears or discomforts causes me great anxiety. He can swear (learns the words from step-brothers and other teens at school), flirt with the girls and call his mom "sweet girl", but I've NEVER heard him say he was in pain and when he was harmed at summer school he had no words to tell me who it was or what they did ~ there lies my heart ache. So, yes, I am ever so thankful to Tiger for giving me words for what I observe. You guys are the best!