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Thread: Loose screw? Broken rod?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    46

    Loose screw? Broken rod?

    Hi all,

    This year will be my 4 year anniversary for my fusion. I also had a thoracoplasty 3 years ago. Anyway, I've posted about the possibility of a broken rod before & now I'm back. 2 years ago I had this sharp pain, which turned out to be nothing. Recently, I've had a different feeling. It's almost as though I can feel my rods in the middle of my back. This started last week and it's like I can feel it more and more each day. I haven't heard a "pop" or felt a break, but this feeling is unlike anything I've ever felt in my back post-surgery. It's as if something isn't as tight as it used to be and I feel something is "loose" when I lay down. It's really difficult to describe this feeling...

    My right shoulder blade also feels really weak and ticklish at times. And strangely, it seems like my little rib hump is protruding more. I notice it in the mirror and also when I lay against a flat surface. Something just isn't right and I'm not sure what!

    Has anyone felt this before? Like I said, I'm 4 years post op, so I'm wondering if my muscles are finally relaxing & getting back to normal. I've been numb in the middle of the back ever since my surgery, so perhaps that's changing?

    Scheduled an appointment with my surgeon for Friday, but probably going to get an X-ray at a med express tomorrow because this is making me anxious...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    70

    revision

    Hi, I had a broken rod in the center of my back last year , and I fell in Jan,(1 year after revision surgery) and broke one in the lumber, and I never felt as much as a pinch, I am leaning to the right and having surgery May 6 to fix and I hope the last time. Lu

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,802
    Hi...

    It's unlikely that a non-spine medical practice has long cassette xray capability. If it were me, I'd wait until seeing the spine surgeon before having films taken, as your surgeon will almost certainly want full, 36" standing A/P and lateral xrays.

    Hope it turns out to be nothing.

    --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.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,261
    I'll be looking out for your post curveycakes - there are a few of us here who're 4-5 years out and will be hoping for the best for you.
    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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    2,755
    Just a question. Is it possible to break a rod without a pseudoarthrosis? I guess I just thought if the fusion was solid that it protected the rods from stress tension that eventually causes breakage. Did you injure yourself? I hope you find some answers when you go on Friday.
    Be happy!
    We don't know what tomorrow brings,
    but we are alive today!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    46

    Good news

    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for the support & feedback! My appointment with the surgeon went well yesterday. Nothing is broken nor out of place. He suspects that it's scar tissue & muscular pain. He suggested massages. I will probably start getting them because it's very uncomfortable at times.

    Rohrer, I guess I don't know the 100% accurate answer to your question, but I know it's highly unlikely for the rods to break if the spine is successfully fused. I know my spine is fully fused, but I had started practicing yoga and Pure Barre (a work out mixture of yoga, ballet, and Pilates) in January. While I feel great with my new workout routine, I was also worried that I was stretching too much or doing more than I should. I'm just a worrier by nature, if you can't tell.

    Anyway! Everything is fine. Verified that I don't have any activity restrictions & I am at ease.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,261
    Fantastic news, Curvycakes! Thanks for letting us know.
    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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,802
    Rohrer....

    It's rare, but possible. In those cases, it's thought that the fusion was delayed, allowing small movement of the rods. I've heard of it happening probably 2-3 times in all my years.

    --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.

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