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Thread: Has anyone ever experienced this?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Posts
    71

    Has anyone ever experienced this?

    I woke up in a bit of pain in the middle of the night last night and when I was turning over I moved a particular way and got this very sharp pain at the top of my fusion area. It was a very pinpoint pain and my very first thought was it was the top screw that has some issues. The way the doctor's report states it is "This screw extends through the traverse process and through a portion of the rib and into the paraspinous soft tissues. Periosteal reaction and lucency surround that particular hardware indicating loosening." I have 3 questions:
    1-Can someone explain to me, in terms I can understand, what this means? I can't imagine it's good, but I don't fully understand.
    2-Is it even possible for the end of a screw to cause this type of "pinstick pain"?
    3-Has anyone else ever experienced anything like this?

    I just don't know if a screw can cause damage due to where the end of it is. I have a couple of other screws with issues, but I haven't noticed any specific pain from those. I'm a bit concerned and can't decide if I need to call Dr. Devlin (the most recent surgeon I've seen) and make an emergency appointment or not. I call his office yesterday but it was late and didn't get a call back.

    Any info you all can provide would be so appreciated. Thanks for being such a fantastic support group!
    Last edited by allycat; 04-18-2010 at 01:53 AM.
    Becky
    51 years old
    Married 28 years
    3 kids ages 23, 21 and 17
    Fused T-10 through L-5 June, 2008
    Developed junctional kyphosis, flat-back and sagittal imbalance
    Revision Surgery June 27, 2011
    Fused T-4 thru S-1 with pelvic anchor screws
    Take 2 revision October 15, 2013 to locate source of continued pain
    Pseudoarthrosis at L-3, 2 screws removed

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,797
    Hi Allycat...

    The screw was placed badly during surgery, and the tip is sitting in the soft tissue next to the spine. They're seeing a halo around the screw on film, which means that the screw is loose. It definitely could cause pain, or it could be something else, or nothing. Whatever it is, it's almost certainly not an emergency. I'm guessing that the screw will have to be removed. The question would be whether it can stay long enough to allow fusion to take place, or whether it has to be replaced now. If it has to be replaced, it should be a pretty easy surgery and recovery.

    Good luck. Let us know how it all unfolds.

    Regards,
    Linda

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Posts
    71
    Thank you, Linda, for the reply. I've sought an opinion from another surgeon due to the pain level I've experienced since surgery that has not improved and has actually gotten worse, and also because my sagittal balance is way off. I stand very stooped over. This particular screw is just one of a multitude of problems I'm facing. According to the new surgeon, I'm facing 2 surgeries about a week apart in order to correct everything. I have an appointment May 3 with yet another surgeon to get his opinion and I may get an additional opinion.
    This pain is new and it just concerned me knowing what I know about that screw. Your information made me feel much better. I just seem to notice every little twinge and pain.
    Becky
    51 years old
    Married 28 years
    3 kids ages 23, 21 and 17
    Fused T-10 through L-5 June, 2008
    Developed junctional kyphosis, flat-back and sagittal imbalance
    Revision Surgery June 27, 2011
    Fused T-4 thru S-1 with pelvic anchor screws
    Take 2 revision October 15, 2013 to locate source of continued pain
    Pseudoarthrosis at L-3, 2 screws removed

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,261
    Good luck Becky. It's what we all dread, isn't it, hardware and balance complications after having been through surgery? It's not fair, but at least it sounds fixable. Let us know how it unfolds.
    Surgery March 3, 2009 at almost 58, now 63.
    Dr. Askin, Brisbane, Australia
    T4-Pelvis, Posterior only
    Osteotomies and Laminectomies
    Was 68 degrees, now 22 and pain free

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