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Thread: Can you curve more after metal work is removed??

  1. #16
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    Apr 2005
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    correcting a fractured fusion

    Quote Originally Posted by LindaRacine
    Hi Kathy...

    I would hope that your daughter's surgeon is talking about breaking up the old fusion to correct a problem and then re-fusing and reinstrumenting.

    Regards,
    Linda
    Hi Linda,

    I agree with you about breaking up the old fusion where its fractured, then reinstrumenting to make the union solid. I have pseudoarthrosis at T-10 and T11 which clearly showed up in the x-ray. In 1985 I had a Harrington rod removed from my upper back to L-4. The rod was broke because the fusion never took at this site. The rest of the fusion was fine. The doctor (Hospital of Joint Disease), felt that cleaning up that area and adding more bone gragh w/o implants would fix it. I wore a brace for six months. I felt fine for a few years. Having pain on my upper back in 1994, I went to see an othro, took x-rays and tommography and discovered that i had a fracture again at the same site, over the years the pain has gotton worse, since my kids were born. I struggle not to lean forward, but by the end of the day i cannot stand straight and i hurt. In Sept. I am having posterior/anterior fusion with implants to correct my pseudoarthrosis and i think that this procedure will prevent this from happening again. I HOPE.

    I've learned a lot on this forum. Thank you all! Best of luck to everyone.

    Sonia

  2. #17
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    May 2005
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    Buffalo, NY
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    WOW, I'm dumb-founded! I guess I was grasping for straws with this removal surgery. Kate is in so much pain I was willing to take any avenue to help her. After reading all your posts and emailing a few of you I realize that this might not be the magic bullet we were looking for. Unfortunately, Kate's surgery is July 15th and I seriously doubt that we'll be able to get a second opinion before that. Which leaves me with the question, do I put off surgery indefinitely in hopes of finding something else or do I go forward with it and hope it works?
    What now?
    Kathy

  3. #18
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    Hi Kathy...

    I responded to your email, but thought I should also post here. I really think you should consider postponing the surgery until you know for sure what is going on. Once you have a copy of Kate's current x-rays, I can probably find someone to give you a tentative diagnosis. If possible, you should get a copy of both the A/P (or P/A) and lateral films.

    Regards,
    Linda

  4. #19
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    Apr 2004
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    Staten Island, New York
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    Dear Linda: I spoke with you last year about my daughter Cara. In 2000 she had spinal fusion correcting a 48 degree curve. In 2004 she had a revision surgery to cut one rod which was a little too long, per the doctor. Since she was having a lot of unexplained paid we chose to cut the rod and solve the problem. Unfortunately she got an infection (staff) and her incision opened and she had it closed by a plastic surgeon. It obviously was not the problem. She still has pain. Now, she has a new problem! A kidney infection which urologists cannot explain! I cannot held feel everything is related. What do you think. Have you ever heard of the hardware causing kidney infections or possible the staff infection is still in her system?? am I totally off base with this thought. I am truly going crazy by all this and my daughter is mentally and physically depressed. It has been 5 year today since her first surgery at 14 years old and she thought and was told it would be behind her after a year. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks for any reply. Grace

  5. #20
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    May 2005
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    Buffalo, NY
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    Linda,
    I spoke to a couple of people about your email - both the local scoli support group and the national and they both agreed with you. A second opinion is required in Kate's case. They gave me the name of a local Dr. who is "certified" by the Spine Foundation (?). I called him and I'm waiting for his reply. He does work in the same hospital as Kate's current Ortho. My hope is that I can get Kate in to see him before her surgery for a second opinion. I don't think she can take too much more of the pain she's in. It's effecting her mentally and emotionally as well as the obvious physical problems.
    As for the x-rays, she had the PA and lat about a month and a half ago. I will try to get them to email them to me - or I'll just go pick them up.
    Keep your fingers crossed for me!
    I can't thank you enough for all your help.
    Kathy

  6. #21
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    Sep 2003
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    Northern California
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    Quote Originally Posted by gscarpato
    Dear Linda: I spoke with you last year about my daughter Cara. In 2000 she had spinal fusion correcting a 48 degree curve. In 2004 she had a revision surgery to cut one rod which was a little too long, per the doctor. Since she was having a lot of unexplained paid we chose to cut the rod and solve the problem. Unfortunately she got an infection (staff) and her incision opened and she had it closed by a plastic surgeon. It obviously was not the problem. She still has pain. Now, she has a new problem! A kidney infection which urologists cannot explain! I cannot held feel everything is related. What do you think. Have you ever heard of the hardware causing kidney infections or possible the staff infection is still in her system?? am I totally off base with this thought. I am truly going crazy by all this and my daughter is mentally and physically depressed. It has been 5 year today since her first surgery at 14 years old and she thought and was told it would be behind her after a year. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks for any reply. Grace
    Hi Grace...

    I'm so sorry to hear about (OOPS, not Grace) Cara.

    I honestly know very little about infections. I can tell you that I had a liver abscess (which is an infection) several years ago. There was some thought that it might be related to my implants, but in the end, they decided it probably wasn't.

    I hope you get the infection under control quickly, and then find some way to deal with the spinal pain. Can you remind me of who Cara's surgeon was?

    Regards,
    Linda
    Last edited by LindaRacine; 07-06-2005 at 12:52 PM.

  7. #22
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    Hi Kathy....

    I know that this is probably really a stressful time for you, and I'm really glad that you're willing to find out what's going on instead of just forging ahead with the surgery. I'll be very anxious to see the more current x-rays, and hear about what the second opinion has to say.

    Regards,
    Linda

  8. #23
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    Buffalo, NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by LindaRacine
    Hi Kathy....

    I know that this is probably really a stressful time for you, and I'm really glad that you're willing to find out what's going on instead of just forging ahead with the surgery. I'll be very anxious to see the more current x-rays, and hear about what the second opinion has to say.

    Regards,
    Linda
    It's me again!
    Well, I did make some phone calls and got some recommendations and this is what I found out. The Scoliosis Research Foundation doctor that comes recommended will not do a second opinion unless I switch Kate entirely to his care , sight unseen before he will even look at her. Is that legal and/or ethical? What happens if we meet him and one or both of us doesn't like him?
    I feel like our backs (literally) are against a wall.
    Kathy

  9. #24
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    Hi Kathy...

    I'm sure it's legal, but I'm not at all sure it's ethical. Obviously, the guy doesn't like being a second opinion. Here are the names of specialists in your area:

    Christopher Hamill
    Cameron Huckell
    Robert Lifeso

    I think it might be wise to see if any of them would see Kate for a second opinion. If not, you can purchase a second opinion from Dr. Robert Pashman for $75:

    http://www.espine.com/purchase.html

    I think you should make getting the most recent x-rays a priority, as anyone you see is going to need them. Please don't be shy about asking for them. If the surgeon isn't hiding anything, he should be fine with you getting another opinion. You have a right to the x-rays and records. If you don't trust the doctor, you might want to just drop in, unannounced, during normal business hours. Tell the receptionist that you need the x-rays NOW for a second opinion. Be strong. Don't walk away without them. If you get the actual x-rays instead of a digital copy, you can place a white sheet over a sunny window and then tape the x-rays to the sheet to take a photograph.

    Regards,
    Linda

  10. #25
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    May 2005
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    Buffalo, NY
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    Hi Linda,
    I called around and got 2 of the same names you did (the ones on top of your list). I am calling Dr. Hamill today, hopefully I can get Kate in to see him soon. I talked to her current surgeon who has encouraged me to get a second opinion himself. He has offered his support and any documentation we'll need (x-rays included).
    I think I am going to go with that and hope Dr. Hamill can set up an appointment very soon. I am also going to try the internet link you sent. Have you heard any feedback from anyone who has used his service?
    Thanks again for all your help.
    Kathy

  11. #26
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    Hi Kathy...

    I can only remember hearing back from one person who did the internet second opinion thing and she felt it was worthwhile.

    Is the surgeon sending the latest x-rays to you?

    --Linda

  12. #27
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    May 2005
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    Kathy,

    It sounds like you have spent plenty of time weighing the pros and cons. Have you talked it over with Kate as to why you are considering canceling her surgery? I am sure she will agree with you that she'd rather be confident that surgery will help rather than just hope it will work.

    Also, I am wondering if a pain management doctor might be able to provide her with some temporary relief until you are able to get the second opinion and schedule whatever seems to be the best option. Perhaps even your current doctor or one of the others you've called could recommend someone.

    Just a little more food for thought...

  13. #28
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    May 2005
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    Buffalo, NY
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    Linda,
    Kate's surgeon said he would be happy to help me in any way possible including giving her x-rays to me, all I have to do is ask. He was very supportive!

    d_ann,
    I haven't spoken to Kate about any of this because #1: she is on vacation in Florida and #2: I want her to have absolute confidence in her surgeon. I feel it's an integral part of her recovery.
    She is so nervous now she is having trouble keeping food down (partly because of her pain meds - partly because of nerves) and she wants to talk to a counselor, which I whole-heartedly support. We originally had her scheduled for a pain management specialist, but she decided to cancel when we found out about her surgery date. If it turns out that we have to delay her surgery I will definitely reschedule that.
    Thanks again,
    Kathy

  14. #29
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    Kathy...

    When you get the current x-rays, please send them along, as I think I can get Dr. Hu to comment on them.

    --Linda

  15. #30
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    Apr 2005
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    Kates mom, I have a few questions I woul like to ask you...

    Is Kate's pain all along her rods and hardware or specifically at one place? I remember discussing with you that I had a portion of my harware removed after a year an a half of my first surgery, as it helped tremendously without compromising the bone graft at the time.

    Also, when was Kate operated on? It took me at least two years to not feel all the screws and hardware, as my ortho told me I should wait instead of taking it out like I wanted to.

    I also think it is a good idea to wait for surgery and get a second opinion for her.

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