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Thread: broken rod, bad pain. This will be my 3rd scoliosis surgery in 3 years

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    9

    broken rod, bad pain. This will be my 3rd scoliosis surgery in 3 years

    Hi everyone,
    So I had my first scoliosis surgery in 2010 with t2 to pelvis fusion. This surgery left me with an imbalance and a leg length difference and a pelvis difference that caused me to topple over when I sat and i had to wear a 2 inch lift in my shoe. I had surgery again to fix this problem. At that time I was able to sit better and only had to use a small lift in my shoe. However, I had alot of pain/pressure in my back. Recently, i started to hear a squeaking sound when I walked for about a week. then I heard a loud pop followed by instant pain. I went to see my surgeon and now I have a broken rod that will have to be fixed. I am so discouraged at this point. I originally had the scoliosis surgery to help with the constant back pain that i was having and now I have worse back pain than ever. Anybody out there ever experienced these problems?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,261
    Quote Originally Posted by domkam View Post
    Hi everyone,
    So I had my first scoliosis surgery in 2010 with t2 to pelvis fusion. This surgery left me with an imbalance and a leg length difference and a pelvis difference that caused me to topple over when I sat and i had to wear a 2 inch lift in my shoe. I had surgery again to fix this problem. At that time I was able to sit better and only had to use a small lift in my shoe. However, I had alot of pain/pressure in my back. Recently, i started to hear a squeaking sound when I walked for about a week. then I heard a loud pop followed by instant pain. I went to see my surgeon and now I have a broken rod that will have to be fixed. I am so discouraged at this point. I originally had the scoliosis surgery to help with the constant back pain that i was having and now I have worse back pain than ever. Anybody out there ever experienced these problems?
    So sorry to hear of your ongoing problems.

    My first thought was: are you going back to the same surgeon? But that's just me. Can you get one or two other opinions besides your original surgeon?

    There are others on the forum who've experienced broken rods, and I'm sure they'll comment when they see your thread. Good luck!
    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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Indianapolis area
    Posts
    966
    I agree with Jennifer. You should seek out a scoliosis surgeon who specializes in revisions. If you send a private message to Linda Racine, the moderator, she may be able to give you names of qualified surgeons in your area.

    Best wishes,
    Evelyn
    age 44
    80* thoracolumbar; 40* thoracic
    Reduced to ~16* thoracolumbar; ~0* thoracic
    Surgery 3/14/12 with Dr. Lenke, T4 to S1 with pelvic fixation
    Not "confused" anymore, but don't know how to change my username.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,793
    I'm sorry you're going to have to undergo yet another surgery. The good news is that fixing a broken rod is relatively simple compared with your other surgeries, and the recovery should be faster.

    --Linda
    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.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Willington, CT
    Posts
    10
    Quote Originally Posted by domkam View Post
    Hi everyone,
    So I had my first scoliosis surgery in 2010 with t2 to pelvis fusion. This surgery left me with an imbalance and a leg length difference and a pelvis difference that caused me to topple over when I sat and i had to wear a 2 inch lift in my shoe. I had surgery again to fix this problem. At that time I was able to sit better and only had to use a small lift in my shoe. However, I had alot of pain/pressure in my back. Recently, i started to hear a squeaking sound when I walked for about a week. then I heard a loud pop followed by instant pain. I went to see my surgeon and now I have a broken rod that will have to be fixed. I am so discouraged at this point. I originally had the scoliosis surgery to help with the constant back pain that i was having and now I have worse back pain than ever. Anybody out there ever experienced these problems?
    Yes, my rods broke about one and a half years after my second fusion surgery. The rods are just scaffolding and once the bone has fused, they can be removed. You've been about two years, and most docs would prefer five. But mine were removed after two years and I didn't have to have them replaced. I was rod-free for about five years, and then unfortunately, my back began to curve again (in my late-40s) which required a refusion (also in 2010). I had complications (dural leaks) and then a staph infection, which required two more surgeries, but now I am doing great! The pain is definitely manageable with mind/body techniques. Although there are many things I used to do that I can't now, I'm pretty active and "normal". Have hope! You may even end up rod-free!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Willington, CT
    Posts
    10
    Also saw others talking about possibly going to another doctor. While that's certainly an option, a broken rod is actually a lot more common than we would prefer to think and may have nothing to do with the surgeon's capabilities. I went back to my original doctor and had great success!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    3,531
    Quote Originally Posted by JuneH View Post
    Yes, my rods broke about one and a half years after my second fusion surgery. The rods are just scaffolding and once the bone has fused, they can be removed. You've been about two years, and most docs would prefer five. But mine were removed after two years and I didn't have to have them replaced. I was rod-free for about five years, and then unfortunately, my back began to curve again (in my late-40s) which required a refusion (also in 2010). I had complications (dural leaks) and then a staph infection, which required two more surgeries, but now I am doing great! The pain is definitely manageable with mind/body techniques. Although there are many things I used to do that I can't now, I'm pretty active and "normal". Have hope! You may even end up rod-free!
    June

    Glad to see you posting, you are a survivor.

    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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Willington, CT
    Posts
    10
    Thank you, Ed. But knowing what we've all been through, I think we are all survivors just to be here to support one another. I'm not trying to be a poster-child for fusion surgery, but it really is possible to get to a place where you are once again comfortable with the body. It's important, though, to understand that the surgery doesn't really "fix" anything. It just puts you back in the ball game. There's still a lot of work to be done post-surgery that can't be done by anyone else but ourselves!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    3,745
    may i ask a few questions of JuneH...?
    is rod free better once spine is fused solid...?
    is that so screws and rods themselves cannot cause pain anymore
    once removed...? but if the spine is fused...how different is it?
    also...how does one's back re-curve with rods...? did it curve
    below or above where the rods were...?

    domkam, i hope you find a surgeon to fix the problem soon...
    and i wish you a future without pain.

    jess...& Sparky
    Last edited by jrnyc; 02-20-2013 at 12:53 PM.

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