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Thread: Nervous About Rod Removal

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    15

    Nervous About Rod Removal

    Hello-

    My name is Anna, I'm 18 years old and I live in New Orleans, Louisiana. I had scoliosis surgery five years ago and have recently decided to have revision surgery on June 3rd to remove the rod. I have a titanium Harrington rod that broke a a few months ago. I decided to have the revision surgery when I started having a lot of pain in my back around the area of the fracture and loose hooks. Needless to say, I'm a little freaked out about going through another surgery. I had a horrible experience with my first surgery, and my worst fear was something happening to make me have another one, and low and behold, now it has.

    So, I'm basically just wondering if anyone has any advice. I've heard that recovery time and pain is nothing compared to the original surgery, but I'm still a little nervous. What was your experience like? How was the pain afterwards? Are you happy with your decision to remove the rods?

    Thanks a bunch,
    Anna

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

    I've been told (by a very respected surgeon) that a broken rod means that there's at least one area tht didn't fuse (pseudarthrosis). So, just be sure that your surgeon checks the area very well. Removing the rod(s) when there's a pseudarthrosis can easily result in the necessity for yet another surgery.

    Good luck!

    Regards,
    Linda

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    15
    That's exactly what my doctor said, Linda. As soon as the rod broke I went in for a bone scan and everything looked perfect. So, my doctor came to the conclusion that my fusion is fine and intact. Also, I've had several appointments after that and so far my curvature hasn't gotten worse, so that's also a good sign. Basically, I'm having pain along the left side of the top portion of my back -- exactly where the rod is broken. So I'm hoping that with this revision surgery the pain will be eliminated.

    Thanks for your well wishes

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,801
    Hi...

    Just for the record, the same surgeon told me that there is no way to know for sure if the fusion is solid. The tomogram is the supposedly the best way to check for pseudarthoroses, but not even it is 100% reliable.

    --Linda

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    29

    I don't know if I can help but maybe my web site can

    www.FrankieBush.net just click on the on the link.

    Best wishes to you are on

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    913
    Hi, I'm in the same boat right now I have a broken rod(and in pain) and am waiting to do nuclear testing tomorrow, and do NOT want to get operated on again. I had my first surgery when I was 26, had another one at 28 to remove the top hooks b/c it gave me a LOT of pain in my neck/arm and it went fine. I'm 34 now. For me, pain was always there after the surgery and it took years to feel somewhat 'normal', recuperation is a nightmare. I discovered my scoliosis at 12 and wore a Boston brace for years, but it was useless. I was supposed to get my first surgery when I was 18, but I wasn't in that much pain and decided to wait and left the hospital the night before

    But anyway, I broke my rod last year when I put on my pants standing up in an abrupt way and heard a BIG pop. I KNEW it was the rod but I had X rays done and they could not see the breakage until now, they can see it at this point. Guess it took a year to break more and all that physio didn't help either, I didn't know that after having hardware put in that I had to be SO careful(since I already am), and that they could be so many complications,

    Right now I hope for the best and hope the bone graft is not broken, doctor asked me if I was a smoker and I'm not, am a health nut. You keep us posted and I will too

    Btw, I was operated by Dr. Max Aebi who is supposed to be number two in the world, but he went back to Switzerland for those who were interested in doctors. I'm from Montreal, Canada.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    29
    Dear Annie:

    My case is much more severe than yours but I do have experience with broken rods also in my life. Your recovery should be fine compared to your last surgery. And I really would not worry that much about it because not only are young but remember they have always made advances about every five years some extent. You will be just fine and be back into the swing of things in no time. For anyone who might like to see that I myself am looking for a excellent "reconstructive surgeon" please look at my web site and I think you'll see that compared to what medicine used to be like, you will be wonderful after a very short recovery. Anyway feel free to check out www.FrankieBush.net I wish you the very best, Frankie

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