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Thread: Membership in an exclusive club: The Broken Titanium Rod Club

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    San Francicsco Bay Area
    Posts
    127
    ]There's a price to pay for using titanium, especially in patients who are undergoing PSOs. Titanium is largely used because it makes MRIs more readable. However, it's quite brittle, and easily breaks under a lot of stress. I don't know how standard it is, but most of the surgeons with whom I work have started using satellite rods in the area of the PSO (2 rods on each side as opposed to 1 on each side), or have stayed with stainless steel for these patients.
    Thanks for this info. I did not know this about Titanium. Could you please elaborate? A PSO is an osteotomy, right? I've received conflicting opinions, but it looks like the surgeon I've chosen will do osteotomies on me. Does this mean he will use a certain type of metal? Please explain. Thanks,

    --Linda[/QUOTE]
    1st surgery: Fused T1-L3 in 1987 with contoured Harrington Rods. Rods broke at top.
    2nd surgery: Re-done two weeks later; fused C7-L3. Left in chronic pain.
    3rd surgery: Hardware removal 1997, but still pain for 30 years.
    4th Surgery: Fused to the sacrum in 2016. Came out of surgery with left foot paralysis. (Drop Foot) Can't walk on my own.
    I'm blessed to have found my peace and reason to live not from a husband or kids (I have none) but from God and within myself.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    112
    Trying to predict a surgeon's preference is a waste of effort. But they will tell you if you ask what they plan to use. Ask them why they plan to use this for you and see what they say. Mine used a DePuy cobalt chrome system. I think it is stiffer than titanium. But I think whether you get a good fusion is probably more important than the material used.
    Before 39* lumbar at age 18, progressed to 74* lumbar and 22* thoracic age 55
    ALIF Jan 13, 2015, PLIF Jan 15, 2015 with Dr William Stevens, Honor Health
    Fused T-7 to S-1 with pelvic fixation

    After 38* lumbar

    Xrays
    Before: http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...7&d=1414268930

    After: http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...6&d=1424894360

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    1,974
    Dear Susan - how many times do we say "Can't believe this has happened to you!" I am so sorry! I, too, am not a member of this elite club but one day I may find myself here, but probably caused by falling down. Whack! I don't know how strong our fusions are. I've had some pains since my big fall in January, but think I'm ok.

    After Ed's comment about your x-ray I looked all over for it and decided you must have emailed it to him and that is fine. I'm sure it's horrendous and will take his word on it. I am praying for you and that there will be a good solution to this broken rod scenario you are now involved with. How simple life was at one point, wasn't it? Here we are in the days , as Ed so humorously put it, past the black light parties and bodies of steel and on into the complex realities of changed lives with major decisions and limitations that we don't want and beach ball bodies (!)... gotta love that one, Ed. So profound and of instant self-recognition, unfortunately, to many of us, no matter how hard we may try.

    One totally off topic/thread stealer that I will mention is that this has been Charcot Marie Tooth Awareness month. I am thinking of Rohrer and myself and other scolis that have been diagnosed with it. On facebook there is a closed group and in the past few days we have been making a book with our pictures - I am #1in2500 and the absolutely incredible thing is that there has been a humongous response and they are coming in from all over the world- every continent except Antarctica and these people are so surprised because they thought they were all alone. Many, including little children, are in wheelchairs or have such disabilities that it is amazing. But they all have beautiful faces. It has been inspiring. Some also push themselves through what they can do and will not give in until they can't do anymore. I am mentioning it here because I want us to realize we, of course, are not alone with disabilities. Many of those people have asked about scoliosis -- such as "I am crooked and hunchbacked- should I see a doctor?" They are connected. Some have EDS as well.

    Susan - as always, I send my love and prayers. You are a hero. Love, Susie

    I fall because of CMT - have had 3 falls since January... balance issues.
    Last edited by Susie*Bee; 09-26-2015 at 11:45 AM.
    66 and still heartbroken...
    2007 52 w/ severe lumbar stenosis & L2L3 lateral listhesis (side shift)
    5/4/07 posterior spinal fusion T2-L4 w/ laminectomies and osteotomies @L2L3, L3L4
    Dr. Kim Hammerberg, Rush Univ. Medical Center in Chicago

    Corrected to 15
    2014 DXd w/CMT (type 2)

    Click to view my pics: pics of scoli x-rays digital x-rays, and pics of me

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,794
    Quote Originally Posted by Tableone View Post
    ]
    Thanks for this info. I did not know this about Titanium. Could you please elaborate? A PSO is an osteotomy, right? I've received conflicting opinions, but it looks like the surgeon I've chosen will do osteotomies on me. Does this mean he will use a certain type of metal? Please explain. Thanks,
    Yes, a PSO is a type of osteotomy. I don't have a clue what type of metal your surgeon will use. As always, if you trust your surgeon, trust that they will do the best thing they can for you.

    --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. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,690
    Susan,
    I know there is nothing that I can say that will help. I just want you to know that I am so sorry that you have had such a horrible time. I keep hoping and praying that you will eventually get back to a better quality of life.
    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 66
    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/

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Muskoka, ON Canada
    Posts
    77
    Dear Susan, like Susie B says how many times do we say I cannot believe this has happened to you again. You have been through so much and now this. All I can say is that I am thinking of you and hope you will get through this without another surgery.
    These sure are not the golden years for us older folks.
    Marianne
    rotoscoliosis, subluxation and spinal stenosis
    Surgery April 15, 2015 at age 67
    T11-L5
    Decompression with multiple discectomies
    Concord cages @ L2-3, L3-4, L4-5
    Osteotomies and local bone grafting

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Yacolt, WA
    Posts
    1,525
    Thanks Karen, Marianne, and everyone else for you good thoughts and prayers.
    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

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    St. Louis Missouri
    Posts
    48

    About broken rods

    I am assuming everyone that breaks a rod is usually fused through sacrum. Correct? Are you bending during the breakage or what should us that have not had broken rods be most concerned with. I know when I do bend (never all the way down) I have very bad pain.

    Any comments?

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Yacolt, WA
    Posts
    1,525
    Quote Originally Posted by dailypain View Post
    I am assuming everyone that breaks a rod is usually fused through sacrum. Correct? Are you bending during the breakage or what should us that have not had broken rods be most concerned with. I know when I do bend (never all the way down) I have very bad pain.

    Any comments?
    I cannot speak to whether everyone is fused through the sacrum or not that breaks a rod. I am.

    Unlike Gayle, who had a loud pop when she broke a rod, I did not hear any sound. I do remember that I started, not dramatically, to feel more pain one day that continued. I knew something was different.

    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

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Yacolt, WA
    Posts
    1,525
    Quote Originally Posted by Susie*Bee View Post
    After Ed's comment about your x-ray I looked all over for it and decided you must have emailed it to him and that is fine. I'm sure it's horrendous and will take his word on it.
    Susie: Ed is referring to my xray that I posted [sideways] in the section of First Time Surgery: "I am glad that I had Scoliosis surgery". It is a pretty impressive kyphosis if I say so myself. So glad that it was repaired and the pain with it is gone.

    You are so wonderful and supportive! Thanks for all that you have done to help me survive my saga.

    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

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,794
    Quote Originally Posted by dailypain View Post
    I am assuming everyone that breaks a rod is usually fused through sacrum. Correct? Are you bending during the breakage or what should us that have not had broken rods be most concerned with. I know when I do bend (never all the way down) I have very bad pain.

    Any comments?
    No, that is incorrect. L5-S1 is definitely vulnerable, but things like circumferential fusion and the use of biologics have significantly reduced the amount of non-union at that level.
    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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