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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    61

    Joining the broken rod club

    Hello all you lovely people. I have been a long time away from the forum because I am almost four years post op and had been feeling great. 2 days ago I woke up with some mild pain in the sacrum on the left side. I took some Advil and didn't think anything of it. The next morning after I got out of the shower, I had my left foot propped up to dry off my toes when, POP! I heard a loud cracking noise and I felt something go sproing. It kind of hurt, but not too badly, that is until I squatted down to pick something up off the floor (which is my customary way of doing it since I'm fused t10 to sacrum.) Squatting down was excruciating. That being said, walking, standing, sitting, and lying down feel ok, just a dull ache. And I can only walk really slow. My doctor is Dr. Errico in NYC, who I love. He's out of town, but his nurse practitioner Oksoon had me do an X-ray and said there is a crack in one of the rods. I'm supposed to leave for vacation in a few days but I have an appt to see Dr. E before I go. Seems weird to go on vacation knowing that cracked rod is in there. But I'm getting around ok and my husband and friends will be with me to help me out. And I ordered a fold up grabber to carry in my purse. I'm assuming I'm going to have to have a second surgery to get this fixed. Oksoon told me some people just live with the pain when a rod breaks and opt not to do anything. I don't really see that as an option. The whole reason I decided to get my spine fixed in the first place was to avoid a lifetime of pain. I guess now I'm doubling down on that decision. I feel sad that I'm putting my friends and family through this again. One of my family members is being very unsupportive which is making me feel worse. She thinks I should just turn to holistic healing and pain management. She had scoliosis too and that's how she has dealt with hers. I'm so angry and frustrated right now. I don't care that I have to have another surgery. I can deal with that. I just hate the feeling that I'm somehow letting everyone down. A lot of my friends and family tried to talk me out of doing it in the first place. Now I think they're all thinking "I told you so." Forum Friends, you all have gotten me through more dark times then you know, because I'm a bit of a lurker rather than a poster. I look forward to your words of wisdom once again.
    Surgery June 18 by Dr. Errico at NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases at age 41.
    Fused T10-Pelvis.
    "Ask me about my brand new lordosis!"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,797
    Quote Originally Posted by the_baroness View Post
    Hello all you lovely people. I have been a long time away from the forum because I am almost four years post op and had been feeling great. 2 days ago I woke up with some mild pain in the sacrum on the left side. I took some Advil and didn't think anything of it. The next morning after I got out of the shower, I had my left foot propped up to dry off my toes when, POP! I heard a loud cracking noise and I felt something go sproing. It kind of hurt, but not too badly, that is until I squatted down to pick something up off the floor (which is my customary way of doing it since I'm fused t10 to sacrum.) Squatting down was excruciating. That being said, walking, standing, sitting, and lying down feel ok, just a dull ache. And I can only walk really slow. My doctor is Dr. Errico in NYC, who I love. He's out of town, but his nurse practitioner Oksoon had me do an X-ray and said there is a crack in one of the rods. I'm supposed to leave for vacation in a few days but I have an appt to see Dr. E before I go. Seems weird to go on vacation knowing that cracked rod is in there. But I'm getting around ok and my husband and friends will be with me to help me out. And I ordered a fold up grabber to carry in my purse. I'm assuming I'm going to have to have a second surgery to get this fixed. Oksoon told me some people just live with the pain when a rod breaks and opt not to do anything. I don't really see that as an option. The whole reason I decided to get my spine fixed in the first place was to avoid a lifetime of pain. I guess now I'm doubling down on that decision. I feel sad that I'm putting my friends and family through this again. One of my family members is being very unsupportive which is making me feel worse. She thinks I should just turn to holistic healing and pain management. She had scoliosis too and that's how she has dealt with hers. I'm so angry and frustrated right now. I don't care that I have to have another surgery. I can deal with that. I just hate the feeling that I'm somehow letting everyone down. A lot of my friends and family tried to talk me out of doing it in the first place. Now I think they're all thinking "I told you so." Forum Friends, you all have gotten me through more dark times then you know, because I'm a bit of a lurker rather than a poster. I look forward to your words of wisdom once again.
    Hi...

    If you have an area that didn't fuse, which is likely, the surgery to fix it is usually described as being very easy. Don't let it get to you. It's just a tiny detour.

    --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
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    3,535
    Hi Baroness

    I am sorry this happened. Rod breaking and fusing is one of the things we all worry about. Dr Lenke has reported finding them 8-1/2 years post. (smug face)

    Gayle had her thread a while back "Pop heard around the world" you might look for it. She had her revision surgery along with Jenee and both are doing fine now....

    We all have to be prepared for things that might happen during or after scoliosis surgery. For those that come through good, consider yourselves lucky....I am the luckiest person here, and my neck is hammered....if I don't have it fused, it might self fuse and then I would have to post as the Tin Man. (With that gay metallic smile) Ha ha

    I hope you can accept that this happened and move forward....Its kind of hard listening to all the others and their advice when we have to do all the pain and suffering....go ahead and vent if you have to.

    Be sure to let us know what Dr Errico thinks...

    Deep breaths...

    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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    61
    Accepting, moving forward, tiny detour - got it! Thank you. Thanks for having my "back." (A little scoliosis humor.) My latest paranoia is that I'm going to get to Dr. E tomorrow, and he'll say, "What crack, your hardware looks fine." (It was his nurse practitioner who identified the cracked rod on the x-ray.) Or, "No, that's not serious enough to warrant doing anything about it, you'll just have to live with it." I feel fine when I'm at rest, but I can't bend down to pick anything up, and I simply can't live like that forever. I'm only 46. I plan on living at least another 40-50 years! I need to be independent. So, worries are running through my head. NYU has this online "My Chart" thing, and they posted the results of my x-ray to the chart, done by I guess the x-ray technician, and it says no hardware is broken in the analysis section. Why would it say that? Maybe Oksoon is wrong. Not that I want there to be a cracked rod, but I just need to know this pain is not in my head. And it's not so much the pain, it's that it feels like the left side of my body came "unhinged" or "unhooked." I'm walking a little funny. I can only take short steps. I feel like my left leg is dragging a little. I hope Dr. E doesn't just tell me to deal with it. I'm not dying to have another surgery, but I want this fixed. I loved my new back. I feel like I broke a brand new toy I'm not scared of another surgery. Especially if it's not as bad as the first one. I'm going to be better prepared to get off the painkillers sooner. And I'm going to do it according to a schedule so I don't go through withdrawal and get sick again. And once I'm off the painkillers I will try to work from home some, so I won't worry so much about losing my job. Hey, one bright side to another surgery is that now I'm more experienced!
    Surgery June 18 by Dr. Errico at NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases at age 41.
    Fused T10-Pelvis.
    "Ask me about my brand new lordosis!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,797
    Quote Originally Posted by the_baroness View Post
    Accepting, moving forward, tiny detour - got it! Thank you. Thanks for having my "back." (A little scoliosis humor.) My latest paranoia is that I'm going to get to Dr. E tomorrow, and he'll say, "What crack, your hardware looks fine." (It was his nurse practitioner who identified the cracked rod on the x-ray.) Or, "No, that's not serious enough to warrant doing anything about it, you'll just have to live with it." I feel fine when I'm at rest, but I can't bend down to pick anything up, and I simply can't live like that forever. I'm only 46. I plan on living at least another 40-50 years! I need to be independent. So, worries are running through my head. NYU has this online "My Chart" thing, and they posted the results of my x-ray to the chart, done by I guess the x-ray technician, and it says no hardware is broken in the analysis section. Why would it say that? Maybe Oksoon is wrong. Not that I want there to be a cracked rod, but I just need to know this pain is not in my head. And it's not so much the pain, it's that it feels like the left side of my body came "unhinged" or "unhooked." I'm walking a little funny. I can only take short steps. I feel like my left leg is dragging a little. I hope Dr. E doesn't just tell me to deal with it. I'm not dying to have another surgery, but I want this fixed. I loved my new back. I feel like I broke a brand new toy I'm not scared of another surgery. Especially if it's not as bad as the first one. I'm going to be better prepared to get off the painkillers sooner. And I'm going to do it according to a schedule so I don't go through withdrawal and get sick again. And once I'm off the painkillers I will try to work from home some, so I won't worry so much about losing my job. Hey, one bright side to another surgery is that now I'm more experienced!
    Hi...

    Interesting that the radiologist states that there are no breaks and the NP states that there is. Some breaks are not very obvious, and they can be really difficult to spot. One of the studies in which I was involved had a very high rod breakage rate, so I got really good at spotting fractures. If you're not looking for it, it's easy to miss. It may be that the NP was able to spot it because she was looking for it, after hearing you talk about the pop. The radiologist may not have had that same info.

    The good news is that, either way, you'll have the info in a matter of hours.

    Regards,
    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.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Yacolt, WA
    Posts
    1,525
    Sorry that some of your friends and famity are not supportive. Having major spinal surgery is totally a craps shoot. If we have a problem after surgery, we say "If I had Dr. Xxx then I would not have had a problem". There is no way of knowing both what life would be like in both scenerios, having surgery and not having surgery or having one surgeon or another. Maybe if you didn't have surgery you would be in a wheelchair addicted to dilaudid or if you had chosen a different surgeon, you might not have survived the surgery.

    Friends and family that are not supportive are toxic. You don't need to be around such people. You have not dis appointed anyone.

    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

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