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Thread: Ruematiod Arthritis from scoliosis surgery...??

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011

    Ruematiod Arthritis from scoliosis surgery...??

    I am almost 3 months post op having had spinal fusion and instrumentation of t-2 to t12. I felt like I was healing well until about 6 weeks when I started having more pain. Found a hard pointy lump protruding next to my incision. Surgeon said ignore it, it will go away. It hasnt and is really painful. After the bump appeared, my right elbow got a fluid sac, then 2 weeks later my left, and then in the last 2 weeks my knees and calves have fluid. Each day my legs, knees the most, got worse and worse with excruciating pain until I couldnt even bend my knees and needed help from the floor when I squated down. I saw a Reumatologist yesterday and she said it appears I have Reumatoid Arthritis and gave me a Prednisone injection in my hip, and started me on Methotrexate 6 tabs at a time, weekly. I have researched Reumatoid Artthritis and found it is the body attacking itself and something has become "foreign" to it in the joints or fluid or something. I am wondering, if anyone else has had a sudden crushing case of Reumatoid Arthritis or similar symptoms since having the titatanium rods implanted. Can the titanium being rejected by your body surface in this way ???? Please help, reply, anything you know. I am seeing my surgeon for my 3 month tomorrow and he will brush it off as he does every visit with every question.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    I just wanted to send you a hug since you are so clearly suffering and struggling to get answers! I have no information to offer, but maybe someone like Linda who has seen so many cases can reply when she is up to it.

    Did you ask the reumatologist if the body could react to titanium in this way? Aren't hip and knee replacement implants also made from titanium? I would think that the reumatologist might have heard of reactions to titanium then? Could you be having an allergic reaction to the titanium that is posing as arthritis (just a wild hypothesis)?
    46 yrs at surgery, now 50
    71 degree thoracolumbar curve corrected to 34 degrees
    8/2/2010 surgery with Dr. Lenke

    posterior T9 to sacrum with pelvic fixation

    4 osteotomies and 1 cage

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    i am so sorry to hear of what you are going through, leanne!

    did your doctor get a chance to speak to you about getting an arthrocentesis done?
    i think it is a way to get the fluid in your joints analyzed...
    i don't have any medical training...
    am just trying to think of questions you could ask your doc at your next appointment...
    do you think it might help to have the doctor you are seeing for rheumatoid speak to your scoli surgeon on the phone?

    hope you get some pain relief really soon...


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    New Bern, NC
    I am so sorry you are having to deal with RA so soon after your surgery. RA is a very common disease, so my guess is that it is only coincidence that it reared its ugly head when it did. There are blood tests that can confirm the diagnosis. A joint fluid test would not confirm RA, but could diagnose Gout or eliminate it, but that usually occurs in the big toe and usually in men. I hope the medication works for you and that you don't get any bad side effects from it.
    Diagnosed with severe lumbar scoliosis at age 65.
    Posterior Fusion L2-S1 on 12/4/2007. age 67
    Anterior Fusion L3-L4,L4-L5,L5-S1 on 12/19/2007
    Additional bone removed to decompress right side of L3-L4 & L4-L5 on 4/19/2010
    New England Baptist Hospital, Boston, MA
    Dr. Frank F.

    "In God We Trust" Happy moments, praise God. Difficult moments, seek God. Quiet moments, worship God. Painful moments, trust God. Every moment, thank God.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    I'm sorry you got hit with this, especially now!! I wish I had a helpful thought to add, but I don't. I hope you get a definite answer soon, and good treatment.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Northern California
    Hi Leanne...

    I don't think I've ever heard of this happening before, but it wouldn't surprise me to find out that it was brought on by your surgery. Scoliosis surgery is really trauamatic, especially for older adults. Or, it could be just a monumental coincidence. Either way, it sucks, and I'm sorry you have to deal with it.

    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Twain
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation

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