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Thread: Took a spill-looking for advice

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Posts
    71

    Took a spill-looking for advice

    Hello all. It's been a very long time since I was on the forum, life got a little more insane than usual. I need good, solid information so I came to the best place I know with the best people in the scoli world.
    Last night I fell backward and my back took the full impact on my brick paver kitchen floor. For those of you old enough (like me) picture the Nestea plunge into a swimming pool, or a "trust fall". Once I took inventory of all my motor functions and felt reasonably sure I could walk, I was able to get off the floor with assistance. I have been in significant pain since the fall, unable to get comfortable in bed or in a recliner so I alternated walking and sitting during the night. I did make it to work this morning but as the morning has passed, the pain is increasing. Also, I am trembling a bit, like a person does after a traumatic event and they go into shock. As a refresher, I am 11 months post-op from my 3rd back surgery, the last one was "exploratory" to try to discover the source of pain. Dr. Hostin did find an area that had not fused and he removed a couple of screws that were protruding, and I believe I have been slowly improving since. I am fused T-4 through S-1 with pelvic anchor screws. I am still on fentanyl and oxycontin for pain (under very close supervision of an excellent pain management doctor).
    Now I know I should expect a certain amount of discomfort with a fall like this, but I'm a little concerned that I may have damaged the hardware or messed up the fusion. I would appreciate ANY input or suggestions anyone is willing to offer. I'm considering giving Dr. Hostin's office a call to ask their advice but I wanted input from this incredible community first. Thank you in advance for your help!
    PS-I'm really really tired from not sleeping last night so please overlook any spelling/grammar issues!
    Becky
    51 years old
    Married 28 years
    3 kids ages 23, 21 and 17
    Fused T-10 through L-5 June, 2008
    Developed junctional kyphosis, flat-back and sagittal imbalance
    Revision Surgery June 27, 2011
    Fused T-4 thru S-1 with pelvic anchor screws
    Take 2 revision October 15, 2013 to locate source of continued pain
    Pseudoarthrosis at L-3, 2 screws removed

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,801
    Hi Becky...

    Falls are super common after big back surgeries. I fell down a flight of stairs when I was <6 months postop. My feet went out from under me, and my back hit the front of a step. It was scary, and I was sore, but my back was fine. I can't remember anyone who actually hurt their spine in this type of fall, though I'm sure it's happened.

    With that said, you should probably either see your spine surgeon or go to the E.R. to be evaluated.

    --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.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Posts
    71
    Thank you, Linda! Your response gives me a degree of comfort that it's difficult to do any real harm. I will definitely have it checked out to make sure all is well.
    Becky
    51 years old
    Married 28 years
    3 kids ages 23, 21 and 17
    Fused T-10 through L-5 June, 2008
    Developed junctional kyphosis, flat-back and sagittal imbalance
    Revision Surgery June 27, 2011
    Fused T-4 thru S-1 with pelvic anchor screws
    Take 2 revision October 15, 2013 to locate source of continued pain
    Pseudoarthrosis at L-3, 2 screws removed

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    illinois
    Posts
    766
    I hope all turns out well. Jackie

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    3,555
    Becky

    I had a forward crash over a large boulder when I was 10 months along (camping) and instantly figured I destroyed my spine. Its funny how and why this happens when we walk on eggshells for months trying not to disturb things....

    We also know when we are in trouble.....You know if something is wrong, its as if we have this special ability as scolis.....

    Many times we just brush off our sleeves and continue on with the fused life.....That sounds like a great name for a scoliosis related magazine or book, “Fused Life”. (smiley face)

    If you are truly in trouble, go see a doc.....

    I will end this post with 2 quotes from Jean-Martin Charcot, the father of modern Neurology.

    “ To learn how to treat a disease, one must learn how to recognize it. The diagnosis is the best trump in the scheme of treatment”

    “Symptoms, then, are in reality nothing but a cry from suffering organs”

    Hope you feel better soon

    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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Posts
    71
    Jackie, thank you for the well wishes.

    Dixiesmommie, I hope and pray your bone scan shows everything is perfect. Keep us posted.

    Ed, thank you for your response. I've always appreciated you sharing your experiences and information. I agree with your comment about scolis having a special ability to know when there's a problem. Maybe this comes from years of paying close attention to how changes in our spines affect every other part of our body we develop an inner voice that let's us know something is amiss. I am going to call Dr. Hostin in the morning and see what he thinks my next move should be. I am, by nature, a non-alarmist, but that inner voice is getting pretty loud.

    Thank you everyone for your input. I would love others to weigh in with their thoughts as well.
    Becky
    51 years old
    Married 28 years
    3 kids ages 23, 21 and 17
    Fused T-10 through L-5 June, 2008
    Developed junctional kyphosis, flat-back and sagittal imbalance
    Revision Surgery June 27, 2011
    Fused T-4 thru S-1 with pelvic anchor screws
    Take 2 revision October 15, 2013 to locate source of continued pain
    Pseudoarthrosis at L-3, 2 screws removed

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Posts
    71

    5 weeks later......

    Hello all. Here I am again, looking for advice. Since my fall, I've had x-rays taken (negative for any problems) and CT scans on Friday. The CT shows a fracture at T-11. I am fused T-4 - S-1. Has anyone had any experience with fixing a fracture after being fused? Is it a full incision surgery or minimally invasive? I just got this information so I'm still kind of processing it and what the implications are. I'd be so grateful for any input.
    Becky
    51 years old
    Married 28 years
    3 kids ages 23, 21 and 17
    Fused T-10 through L-5 June, 2008
    Developed junctional kyphosis, flat-back and sagittal imbalance
    Revision Surgery June 27, 2011
    Fused T-4 thru S-1 with pelvic anchor screws
    Take 2 revision October 15, 2013 to locate source of continued pain
    Pseudoarthrosis at L-3, 2 screws removed

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Yacolt, WA
    Posts
    1,527
    I would recommend calling your doctor's office and asking them. It might make a difference if the fracture was displaced or not....or if it is just a stress fracture. There are probably too many variables involved in each individual to try to compare your situation with theirs.

    Sorry about your pain and fall. Must have been very frightening.

    Susan
    Adult Onset Degenerative Scoliosis @65, 25* T & 36* L w/ 11.2 cm coronal balance; T kyphosis 90*; Severe disc degen T & L stenosis

    2013: T3- S1 Fusion w/ ALIF L4-S1/XLIF L2-4, PSF T4-S1 in 2 surgeries
    2014: Hernia @ ALIF repaired; Emergency screw removal surgery for Spinal Cord Injury at T4,5 sec to PJK
    2015: Revision Broken Bil T & L rods and no fusion: 2 revision surgeries; hardware P. Acnes infection
    2016: Ant/Lat Lumbar diskectomy w/ 4 cages + BMP + harvested bone + prayer

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Posts
    71

    Seroma anyone?

    What a bizarre few weeks. Susan, I took your advice and called my surgeon, and that turned into a frustrating mess. Long story short, they won't do anything or make any suggestions unless I make an appointment and come in for a consult. I live 4 hours from my surgeon so an office visit requires I take a full day off work as well as my husband because he goes with me. I decided to take a different route and sent the CT to a local doc who is (according to several doctors I trust) one of the best if not THE best in the nation at fixing spinal compression fractures. He ordered an MRI just to be certain there truly is a fracture. According to him, I do NOT have a compression fracture (even though the radiologist that read the CT and MRI diagnosed it as such), instead I have a SEROMA which could be causing pressure which could be causing the pain and can be aspirated. I have also learned I am intensely claustrophobic. Hilarious story for another time.

    Now, does anyone know anything about seromas and has anyone had any experience with them? Two hours ago I was scheduled for a kyphoplasty to be done Monday morning at 8am. I am still on the doctor's schedule for Monday at 8am, but we won't know until I see him what procedure will be done. I was actually excited about the kypho because it's a simple outpatient procedure that was going to give me instant relief from this pain, now I'm so confused and a little disheartened. For all I know we may discover that I have no spine at all! Nothing would shock me at this point.

    As always, I am so grateful for this amazing community of wonderful people. Thanks in advance for any input you can offer.
    Becky
    51 years old
    Married 28 years
    3 kids ages 23, 21 and 17
    Fused T-10 through L-5 June, 2008
    Developed junctional kyphosis, flat-back and sagittal imbalance
    Revision Surgery June 27, 2011
    Fused T-4 thru S-1 with pelvic anchor screws
    Take 2 revision October 15, 2013 to locate source of continued pain
    Pseudoarthrosis at L-3, 2 screws removed

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    1,162
    Hi Becky,

    I am sorry to hear of your continued troubles and pain…I am confused about how a kyphoplasty can be done when you have pedicle screws in place…I thought they performed the procedure via the pedicle. The idea of a seroma which could be aspirated and provide relief is promising.

    I wish you well Monday and hope you will let us know how things go.
    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

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,801
    Quote Originally Posted by leahdragonfly View Post
    Hi Becky,

    I am sorry to hear of your continued troubles and pain…I am confused about how a kyphoplasty can be done when you have pedicle screws in place…I thought they performed the procedure via the pedicle. The idea of a seroma which could be aspirated and provide relief is promising.

    I wish you well Monday and hope you will let us know how things go.
    Hi Gayle...

    While I don't recall ever hearing about a kyphoplasty being done without implants being removed, I think it's possible that they could go in laterally, just above the pedicles.

    Hi Becky...

    It seems odd to me that a seroma would have formed from an indirect trauma, but I'm not saying it couldn't happen. I don't have a clue about whether it would be dangerous to have a needle put in to reduce the seroma, but it's probably not a big procedure, and may be worth a shot to get you out of pain. It's almost certainly less invasive than a kyphoplasty.

    Did you talk to your surgeon, or to his practice assistant? The practice assistants are usually the gate keepers in a surgeon's office*. It's the way that practices work best. Nonetheless, I wonder if another appeal might be worthwhile. I can't imagine that an exam would be all that helpful, and it would take your surgeon 5 minutes to look at the report and images. All of the surgeons I work with would do this for someone who lived far away (as do most of our patients).

    --Linda

    *This is why I always cringe when someone says they've had a confrontation with a surgeon's "people". I love all the practice assistants I work with, but I can tell you that they won't go out of their way for someone who has already been difficult. They're way too busy and if they can't get everything done, they're going to choose to help someone who has been easy to deal with.
    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.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Posts
    71

    Seroma

    Hi Gayle,
    I had the exact same thought but have been assured doing a kypho on a fused spine can be done. That's not really the issue now that the diagnosis has changed. I'm a little concerned that the problem really is a seroma based on the amount of pain I am having. I will for sure let you know how tomorrow goes.

    Linda, I sent you a pm regarding the contact with the surgeons office.
    I agree with your assessment on developing a seroma. All I know to do at this point is go to my appointment tomorrow and see what Dr. Beall says.

    Thank you again for all your thoughts and suggestions.
    Becky
    51 years old
    Married 28 years
    3 kids ages 23, 21 and 17
    Fused T-10 through L-5 June, 2008
    Developed junctional kyphosis, flat-back and sagittal imbalance
    Revision Surgery June 27, 2011
    Fused T-4 thru S-1 with pelvic anchor screws
    Take 2 revision October 15, 2013 to locate source of continued pain
    Pseudoarthrosis at L-3, 2 screws removed

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