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Thread: Old rods

  1. #1
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    May 2010
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    NJ
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    70

    Old rods

    Hi, I had surgery in May & June, I did great, no pain, no cane, on pills. Until Oct 14, I was walking and I felt a pop in my back, with some pain, felt like a pulled muscle, but was getting worse,and my ribs have a lot of pain. I went to see Dr. he x-ray me and it is cracked, (a old rod from 2002) he did not go up that high his work was all at the lumbar and sacrum. So sad to say I am having surgery Jan. 9 to replace 2 old rods. As everyone knowes this is very upsetting, but the pain fells like a knife is in the center of my back. Lu

  2. #2
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    Jun 2011
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    Southern CA
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    So sorry to hear of your troubles. I hope that all goes well with your January surgery. How did the old rod break?
    Melissa

    Fused from C2 - sacrum 7/2011

    December 8, 2014 - Another Broken Rod Surgery

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Posts
    416
    Lue,
    I "feel" your pain...don't know if you have read my post but I just broke a rod a couple of weeks ago. I just had my revision 18 months ago and was
    doing great so this came as a complete surprise to me. I'm sure it did to you as well. Do you feel the rod moving now that it is broken?
    My back feels clunky and loose. I wish you luck in your surgery in January...
    May 2008 Fusion T4 - S1, Pre-op Curves T45, L70 (age 48). Unsuccessful surgery.

    March 18, 2010 (age 50). Revision with L3 Osteotomy, Replacement of hardware T11 - S1 , addition of bilateral pelvic fixation. Correction of sagittal imbalance and kyphosis.

    January 24, 2012 (age 52) Revision to repair pseudoarthrosis and 2 broken rods at L3/L4.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    South Jersey
    Posts
    133
    Hi Lue - - ((hugs)) - - i'm so sorry you're in so much pain. Last we spoke (after you broke your rod), you were doing so-so and were waiting to go see Dr. Kebaish. Can he give you anything for the pain until Jan.9th rolls around?? It sounds like you're really hurting...are you still able to work or did you have to stop?? Call anytime...my rods haven't broken (yet!!) but we can vent to each other about all this back crap! It's for the birds! Ok, take care --- TTYS

    Michele
    1993/1995: PSF w/ Harrington rods T3-L4
    Jan. 24, 2012: ALIF of L4-L5, L5-S1 w/ cage spacer and BMP
    Jan. 31, 2012: PLIF of L1-S1 w/ pelvic anchors
    Scheduled Nov.15, 2012: Fusion T2-S1 w/ pelvic anchors to fix T12 fracture
    http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c3...ot/myback2.jpg - BEFORE
    http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c3...CT2342x406.jpg - AFTER
    http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c3...CT1410x229.jpg - AFTER
    www.jerseyot.blogspot.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    2,755
    Quote Originally Posted by Lue View Post
    Hi, I had surgery in May & June, I did great, no pain, no cane, on pills. Until Oct 14, I was walking and I felt a pop in my back, with some pain, felt like a pulled muscle, but was getting worse,and my ribs have a lot of pain. I went to see Dr. he x-ray me and it is cracked, (a old rod from 2002) he did not go up that high his work was all at the lumbar and sacrum. So sad to say I am having surgery Jan. 9 to replace 2 old rods. As everyone knowes this is very upsetting, but the pain fells like a knife is in the center of my back. Lu
    Lue, sorry to hear that. I'm wondering why the older rod would have broke unless there was a nonfusion there. You would think that after all this time they would have known, unless those rods were just really strong for a long time. Anyway, I'm so sorry you have to go through this again. There are so many people having revisions lately. I hope this is the last time and you are finally pain free. Gentle (((hugs)))

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
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    Lue

    Oh boy, I cant believe it. I hope you can control the pain until surgery.

    I had the soldering iron at 2 years out and thought I might have broken a rod, but didnít. It was a soft tissue injury. Itís a scary thing.

    Hang in there
    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 58, the new 53...
    Pre surgery curves C12,T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  7. #7
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    Mar 2010
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    2,755
    Is there a reason for a rod to break other than pseudoarthrosis or sheer blunt force trauma?

  8. #8
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    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    3,535
    If there is movement, they bend just like a paperclip. Eventually, it will break. I have read a million cycles. If there is no movement and a solid fusion can occur, the rods donít do much.

    Fusion mass can vary, from cheesecake, to stone. Everyone is different. Why this happens, nobody knows.

    When we have full fusions with many levels, the odds are higher that a level can be compromised. Itís a numbers thing.

    Anterior and posterior fusions balance out the fusion and are used in difficult cases like myself.

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 58, the new 53...
    Pre surgery curves C12,T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    2,755
    So wouldn't it be better to get the hardware out, assuming that the fusion occurred and is solid? Or do you just wait for a rod to break and then have it out? If the rod breaks, can it cause dammage requiring new instrumentation?

    Sorry for the ????
    I don't want to scare anyone.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,690
    Lue and Kristi,
    I'm so sorry to read about your broken rods. I'm not sure I want to try to play golf for awhile even if Dr. Lenke gives me permission. I've been told that they won't know if you are fused or not, even at a year, unless you get a CT scan. Were you both told that you were completely fused or was it just assumed at a year?
    Karen

    Surgery-Jan. 5, 2011-Dr. Lenke
    Fusion T-4-sacrum-2 cages/5 osteotomies
    70 degree thoracolumbar corrected to 25
    Rib Hump-GONE!
    Age-60 at the time of surgery
    Now 66
    Avid Golfer & Tap Dancer
    Retired Kdgn. Teacher

    See photobucket link for:
    Video of my 1st Day of Golf Post-Op-3/02/12-Bradenton, FL
    Before and After Picture of back 1/7/11
    tap dancing picture at 10 mos. post op 11/11/11-I'm the one on the right.
    http://s1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pottoff2/

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    3,535
    Linda would answer best, but assuming that the fusion occurred is not something they do, they go in and see, and then deal with the situation.(re-fuse) Ctís are used to take a peek first.

    Broken rods that rub will create metal particles and can lead to infection.

    Removing hardware is not something that you take lightly. It has happened, and over the years the forces ďcanĒ re-curve the spine. Karen Ocker knows about this, she had a scoli surgery in the 50ís before any hardware was used. It only makes sense in a revision to keep things simple, work on that specific level without opening up a large area.

    I said that rods donít do much after a solid fusion BUT, in this case they do........bone remodeling happens in about 2 years.

    Do all scolis remodel and re-curve without hardware after fusion? I donít know this answer, or percentages.

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 58, the new 53...
    Pre surgery curves C12,T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    3,535
    Karen

    I took things easy in my recovery. My arm and shoulder were broken, so this is understandable.

    After my shoulder surgery and my shoulder was healed, it was about 15 months, I relayed the fact that I was nervous about skiing to Dr Menmuir. He ordered me to go skiing, and if I didnít go, he would go with me......take a day off! Wow! He didnít want me walking on eggshells for the rest of my life. Shooting another CT isnít worth it, the radiation is too high. If a pseudarthrosis happens, it happens, then hardware breaks.

    I too was pretty nervous,(I have a Utah Park City thread with pics), but it all worked out slowly, just a little at a time. It took about a year....

    See what Dr Lenke says, I would guess that he will want you to ďslowlyĒ work on your swing. Just a little at a time. No heavy driving for awhile.

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 58, the new 53...
    Pre surgery curves C12,T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,797
    Quote Originally Posted by rohrer01 View Post
    So wouldn't it be better to get the hardware out, assuming that the fusion occurred and is solid? Or do you just wait for a rod to break and then have it out? If the rod breaks, can it cause dammage requiring new instrumentation?

    Sorry for the ????
    I don't want to scare anyone.
    If the fusion is solid, the rods aren't going to break.

    The only trauma that would break a spinal rod that's intact would probably be the force of a freight train hitting you head on.
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Dilbert
    I'm sarcastic... what's your super power? --Unknown
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If you've signed up and are having trouble posting, please check your spam folder. An email was sent to the email address which you subscribed. You have to follow the instructions in that email. Done that and still having trouble posting? Contact Joe O'Brien at jpobrien@scoliosis.org.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,690
    Ed & Linda,
    The way I understand it from Dr. Lenke's office is that after a year, they do not take a CT scan, but "assume" you are fused unless something looks odd in the x-rays. I was just thinking that if I'm not 100% fused, which from what I've read on the forum is normal, that a repetitive movement could break a rod like a paper clip that bends and bends and then breaks. I can believe that this wouldn't happen if you have a solid 100% fusion, but what if it's only about 75% fused at a year?
    Karen

    Surgery-Jan. 5, 2011-Dr. Lenke
    Fusion T-4-sacrum-2 cages/5 osteotomies
    70 degree thoracolumbar corrected to 25
    Rib Hump-GONE!
    Age-60 at the time of surgery
    Now 66
    Avid Golfer & Tap Dancer
    Retired Kdgn. Teacher

    See photobucket link for:
    Video of my 1st Day of Golf Post-Op-3/02/12-Bradenton, FL
    Before and After Picture of back 1/7/11
    tap dancing picture at 10 mos. post op 11/11/11-I'm the one on the right.
    http://s1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pottoff2/

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Southern CA
    Posts
    2,224
    Quote Originally Posted by golfnut View Post
    Ed & Linda,
    The way I understand it from Dr. Lenke's office is that after a year, they do not take a CT scan, but "assume" you are fused unless something looks odd in the x-rays. I was just thinking that if I'm not 100% fused, which from what I've read on the forum is normal, that a repetitive movement could break a rod like a paper clip that bends and bends and then breaks. I can believe that this wouldn't happen if you have a solid 100% fusion, but what if it's only about 75% fused at a year?
    I think that is a very good way to look at it. After all, why rush into something when you could have a bad result?
    Melissa

    Fused from C2 - sacrum 7/2011

    December 8, 2014 - Another Broken Rod Surgery

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