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Thread: Iliac screw removal

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    161

    Iliac screw removal

    I see several posts regarding iliac screw removal. Kelly at Dr. Lenke's office told me that if the screw or screws are removed, the curve or curves would just return. Has anyone here had their screws removed and if so is the curve progressing?
    Pam, age 49
    Thoracolumbar curves 80 and 40 corrected to 20 degrees
    April 20, 2012 surgery with Dr. Lenke
    T-3 to sacrum

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Harrisburg, Pa.
    Posts
    85

    Iliac Screw

    Hi Pam,

    I feel so bad that you have been in so much pain since your surgery. I will find out Friday or next week if Dr. Bridwell will be fusing me to the sacrum, which I am hoping he will, but I do worry about having the same problem you are having. I am on the thin side and worry about feeling the hardware. The only thing I can tell you is that I think I have read that the screws cannot be removed for one to two years, and even though surgeons do not like doing this, it can be done. I hope you get responses on your post and I hope Dr. Lenke can find an answer for your pain.
    Blessings,
    Pat
    1963 Fusion T4-L2 for congenital scoliosis. It was a bone graft and not instrumentation
    1989 to Present....Have had chronic pain. MRI's show severe neural foraminal stenosis L2-S1, rotational scoliosis lumbar spine over 40 degrees, compression of nerve roots L5-S1, Broad Based Herniations L4-L5, L5-S
    Surgery scheduled with Dr. Bridwell on December 11, 2012
    December 11, 2012 Had surgery with Dr. Bridwell. He fused L4-L5 with rods and screws.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    1,162

    no recurving here

    Hi Pam,

    I had my single iliac screw removed during my revision surgery for broken rods. I had trouble with persistent pain over the left buttock where my iliac screw was, which is why I wanted it out. Dr Hart told me that was no problem to remove after one year post-op. He said the purpose of the iliac screw is to protect against fracture of the sacrum while the fusion is healing. Once the lower levels are solidly fused, he told me the iliac screw is no longer needed.

    I have had no problem with any re-curving. I feel better over the left buttock now that the screw is gone, and I just found a skilled massage therapist who is working hard to get rid of a lot of persistent, chronic muscle spasm in my back and over the buttock area. I am glad I had the screw removed.

    Several other people here have had their iliac screws removed. If you search for "iliac screw removal" I think you can find them. No one else had trouble with re-curving, but everyone had it done at least one year post-op.

    Good luck, and I sure hope you can get some relief soon.
    Gayle, age 50
    Oct 2010 fusion T8-sacrum w/ pelvic fixation
    Feb 2012 lumbar revision for broken rods @ L2-3-4
    Sept 2015 major lumbar A/P revision for broken rods @ L5-S1


    mom of Leah, 15 y/o, Diagnosed '08 with 26* T JIS (age 6)
    2010 VBS Dr Luhmann Shriners St Louis
    2017 curves stable/skeletely mature

    also mom of Torrey, 12 y/o son, 16* T, stable

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    200
    Hi Pam,

    I had occasional pain in my SI joints from 8 weeks post-op to probably about 18 months post-op. I also had (and still have) some sensitivity over those pelvic screws. I asked Dr. Lenke at my 1 year follow-up visit about the SI joint pain. He said that my SI joints had probably moved a bit when I was active (e.g. walking) prior to my surgery. So, post surgery, when those joints tried to move, he said that the pelvic screws that were crossing those joints were causing irritation. He said he could remove my pelvic screws at the 2 year post-op point. Thankfully, my SI joint pain has reduced over time and I have not noticed it at all for about 6 months. The tissue over my screws is still more sensitive than the rest of me, but I have decided that I can live with that.

    I believe that Anne (ADMoul) had at least one pelvic screw removed if you search on her threads.

    I hope that you are able to get relief from your pain, Pam!

    Best Wishes,
    Kathy
    Kathy
    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
    http://s1066.photobucket.com/albums/...athK_08022010/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    161
    Kathy- So if Dr. Lenke is willing to remove the screws then I am sure he wouldn't do that if the curve would return. So, I wonder why Kelly told me this. She stated this as a blanket/general statement.
    Pam, age 49
    Thoracolumbar curves 80 and 40 corrected to 20 degrees
    April 20, 2012 surgery with Dr. Lenke
    T-3 to sacrum

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