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Thread: Two broken rods after 5 years (No, not me!)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
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    3,161

    Two broken rods after 5 years (No, not me!)

    Some of you may remember a member from Australia who had her surgery around the same time as me, 5 years ago. She recovered well and when the Australian Scoliosis forum began, she started posting there. I won't name her because I haven't asked permission but I thought it might interest those who've had surgery 5 or more years ago, that broken rods can still happen. Recently, she discovered she had two broken rods. She's just had her revision surgery where both her rods were removed and replaced. It was only a 3 hour surgery. They actually found a second break in one of the rods. A bit scary for those of us who think we're out of the woods. <popping eyes>
    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

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Yacolt, WA
    Posts
    1,248
    Made my day! Susan
    Ps: if you see her, tell her that I wish her well.
    2011: Degenerative Adult Onset Scoliosis @65
    25* T levoscoliosis/ 36* L dexroscoliosis w/ 11.2 cm coronal & 3.5 cm sagittal balance T kyphosis 90*
    Severe disc degen thoracic & lumbar stenosis
    Surgery: T3- S1 Fusion w/ ALIF L4-S1/XLIF L2-4, PSF T4-S1 2 surgeries
    3/2013, Dr. Hu @ UCSF
    Postop hernia @ ALIF incision repaired 2014
    8/2014: Rev surgery OHSU Dr. Hiratzka hardware removal T3-T5; reinstrument & revision fusion T3-T6
    Proximal Junctional Failure w/ SCI
    Cauda Equina Syndrome

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,512
    First of all, I am thankful it wasn't your rods, although I hate that it happened to anyone. I asked Dr. Lenke about that once and he mentioned that there are a few cases where it has happened at three to five years which wasn't the answer I was hoping for. Let's hope that it is rare,
    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 63
    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/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    2,851
    Jen, I have read up to 9 years.....(Lenke literature)

    In a nutshell......

    Rates of pseudarthrosis vary on many factors..... in 50 yr old adults, depending on the literature..... run around 15-20% or 1 in 5. L4-L5 and L5-S1 are the hardest levels to fuse.

    Bone fusion happens in 3 phases.....

    1) The inflammatory phase. (1-3 weeks) Involves the formation of a hematoma and cellular necrosis(death) which causes an “acute inflammatory response”.

    2) The proliferation phase (4-5 weeks) Bone mineral production and osteoid formation.

    3) Final remodeling phase (6-10 weeks, up to 2 years) maturation of osteoblasts and osteoclasts.

    I ask? Do these first critical phases have any effect on the integrity of the fusion mass as time passes?

    NSAID’s and smoking have negative effects and also “overall nutrition” IMPACTS fusion rates.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=s-Z...geries&f=false

    Eating properly is hard in recovery, and I had to force myself to eat. If I threw up, I had to re-eat. This becomes a fine balance between pain and nutrition, balancing opoid intake, eating properly and dealing with constipation. I decided that the meds weren’t worth it since immunity to meds eventually happens and they cease to function. (Not worth a damn) Sausage is not nutrition and McDonalds doesn’t qualify.

    So, Nutrition, Water, and Walking became my main priorities. This became my mantra....my sacred utterance....repeated hourly as scoli zombies do.

    NUTRITION, WATER, WALKING......
    NUTRITION, WATER, WALKING......
    NUTRITION, WATER, WALKING....(and kill Indiana Jones) (smiley face)

    You had our attention with your title....

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 55, the new 45...
    Pre surgery curves C12,T70,L70
    A/P 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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    1,022
    Hi Jennifer,

    My heart leapt when I read your title, and I too am glad it's not you. But I do feel bad for the other person. My surgeon also told me I had to make it to 5 years before the worry of broken rods lessens. I of course only made it to 15 months after the first surgery, then suffered two broken rods, I think at L2/3 and L3/4. I had those replaced posteriorly along with an anterior fusion and I just passed the two-year mark for that in February. I really didn't quite realize how much I had been worrying about having another broken rod approaching my two year mark. The mental aspects of this surgery are really discussed very much, and I thought I was pretty tough, but it really got to me. At my 2-hr appt my surgeon told me I could ben and do whatever I wanted, so I was finally able to let go of (most of) the worry about the rods.

    I hope your Australian friend will have a quick recovery.
    Gayle, age 47
    Boston brace as a teen for AIS
    Oct 2010 fusion T8-sacrum w/ pelvic fixation, TLIF at L4/5.
    Feb 2012 major A/P revision for broken rods


    mom of Leah, 12 y/o, diagnosed Jan '08 with 26* thoracic JIS (age 6)
    4/08 26 degrees, brace 16 hrs/day
    9/08 17 deg. OOB - brace discontinued
    9/09 30 deg, resuming brace
    5/10 VBS Dr Luhmann Shriners St Louis
    5/14 stable 4 yrs post-op, 14* T

    also mom of Torrey, 9 y/o son, 12* T, decreasing spontaneously (from 19*)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,161
    I just checked to see if there's more news and information but there isn't. She had her surgery last Monday. I'm so sad for her - it was a huge shock for her, as you can imagine.

    Trying to remember back, I do remember she had episodes of pain for some time after surgery and I seem to remember she had a fall in the early years. I'll try to find out more when she's feeling better.

    Thanks for that information, Ed. Very interesting. Perhaps the damage was there from one of those early stages and she's simply been living with it until a final break more recently.
    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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    2,851
    Yes, perhaps.....we don’t know all the pieces of the puzzle.....maybe some day.

    I have read that exercise in younger people is more beneficial than when older, maybe I was on that train of thought.....

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0503111744.htm

    I like to post and target general information of some value even if readers are too young to know who Indiana Jones is....which is probably more important than knowing about how fusion occurs.....stressing about something like this after the first year just isn’t worth it. Every day is valuable.

    I hope she heals quickly.....

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 55, the new 45...
    Pre surgery curves C12,T70,L70
    A/P 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
    May 2009
    Posts
    3,656
    so sorry for her, Jen, but so very glad it is not you...

    hugs...and woofs...
    jess...and Sparky

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    1,940
    Glad that it is not you

    Melissa
    Melissa

    All surgeries are on hold right now

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Yacolt, WA
    Posts
    1,248
    When an event occurs, we always true to look backwards and attribute some happening to the bad event. I have seen this work over and over again to women that have a baby with a birth problem or a premature delivery, they remember the flu that they had or the time that they fell in the parking lot at the supermarket or some minor happening that was insignificant at the time, but now, trying to find attribution or make sense out of what happened, it takes on a new meaning. The fact it, millions of women get the flu or a mild infection or take a minor fall, and almost all of them have a healthy delivery.

    Sure, there are some habits that are linked with non-healing such as smoking and poor nutrition. I fell a few times in the first year, but so far so good.


    Susan
    2011: Degenerative Adult Onset Scoliosis @65
    25* T levoscoliosis/ 36* L dexroscoliosis w/ 11.2 cm coronal & 3.5 cm sagittal balance T kyphosis 90*
    Severe disc degen thoracic & lumbar stenosis
    Surgery: T3- S1 Fusion w/ ALIF L4-S1/XLIF L2-4, PSF T4-S1 2 surgeries
    3/2013, Dr. Hu @ UCSF
    Postop hernia @ ALIF incision repaired 2014
    8/2014: Rev surgery OHSU Dr. Hiratzka hardware removal T3-T5; reinstrument & revision fusion T3-T6
    Proximal Junctional Failure w/ SCI
    Cauda Equina Syndrome

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,161
    Thanks Jess and Sparky, and Melissa!

    I agree Susan, her fall may have had nothing to do with it. And we'll likely never know what did.

    Ed, that's a good article. I will be showing it to my grandkids.
    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

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