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Thread: Questions about broken rod

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    6

    Questions about broken rod

    Hi my name is Stacey I'm 42 yrs old in Louisiana I had my first and only surgery when I was 16 (1 Harrington rod). I have been lucky from what I have read I have not had that much problems with my back except for the normal aches and pains. On Dec 7 I was in a car accident and at my mother and my husbands request I got check-out at the local hospital. To my surprise they told me my rod was broken but the doctors think it's an old break. I have not seen a doctor for my back in about 15 years (you know if it don't hurt why go to the doctor) plus my doctor Dr. Henery LaRocca in New Orleans passed away I was told. Now at 42 I'm out looking for a Dr. that deals with scoli. the dr. I saw at the hospital was a nuero. and he told me that taking the rod out would do more damage than good. I do have an appointment with a Dr. that is local that I found on one of the scoli. websites. Has anyone had the rod removed and found that they wished they just left it alone??? I'm about 40lbs over weight and they also found at the hospital I have gallstones YEAH !!!!!! It sucks to get OLD any suggestion would be helpful at this point. My husband is driving me crazy I'm luck if he lets me pick up a roll of toilet paper (gotta love him).
    Broken Stacey

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    151
    Stacey, I will tell you my experience with rod removal. I had all my hardware removed one year after having them implanted. My fusion did not take. I had to have the hardware put back in four weeks after having it removed.
    The reason for my removal was a screw had shifted or worked its way loose a little and caused one of my rods to stick out a little to much. I was in lots of pain with the rod sticking out so my Dr. thought I would be fused so he took everything out. When I went back to him to have my staples removed he ordered x-rays and my curvature was back the same as before I started.
    He had to put everything back in again.
    I have not had to much trouble until about the last 3 or 4 months. I have a rod sticking out again. Same side same place. I also have two or three screws that are causing me pain. My Dr. wantsed me to go to a pain clinic and see if they could help me rather than have surgery again. Now the Drs. at the pain clinic want the Dr. to take the one rod out and the screws that are causing me trouble. I have to have a Mylogram and a CT scan Friday and they will go from there.
    So from my experience with rod removal it wasn't a success. But I really had no choice.
    The surgeon I had that done all three of my surgeries moved out of state.
    I was referred to another surgeon. Which is probably for the best. I don't think I want my past surgeon operating on me again. If he didn't get it right the first three times then I don't want him to touch me again.
    I hope everyhting turns out for the best for you. I am sure someone on here can tell you more about rod removal after so many years of having them in.
    Good luck and keep us posted.
    Mattie

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    6

    broken rod

    Thanks for the information. I am just blessed that I don't have the pain like most have encountered. I get cramps between my shoulder blades that can bring anyone to their knees. My back cracks and its insant releaf. I'm almost sure thats where the break is or real close to it. I get light headed somtime when i lay flat on my back in the same place but it slowly goes away. So I have been lucky.

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

    You should defintely try to find a scoliosis specialist, but there's probably no rush. Since you don't have a lot of pain, I bet that most doctors will tell you to leave the rod in. Several top specialists have told me that a broken rod means that there's an area of non-fusion.

    Regards,
    Linda

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    6
    Thanks I do have appointments with 2 separt doctors just to make sure. I just never knew sooooo many people have had problems like they have. What have been scaring me are the short bouts of dizzy spells. You'll probaly laugh but I get dizzy sometimes getting up from the toilet lol just when I go to stand up. I can close my eyes and it goes away. And it happens somtime when I lay flat on my back in bed. I am worried that a nerve is being pinched. Hopefuly the doctors will figure it out.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    913
    Hi Stacey,

    I don't think the dizzinness has to do with your back, I have had terrible bouts with Meniere's disease lately(inflammation behind the ear), and also Vertigo can cause that. It's related to ears, and Serc(pills) can help. That's my experience with that.

    As for the broken rod, I had mine replaced, and the longer I waited the more pain I was in and screws were coming loose, so I don't recommend waiting too long unless you're in not much pain. It took my docs a year to see the breakage on Xray, and I also had a non union not noticeable on Xrays or bone scans, just when they opened me up. If you want more info about the surgery don't mind asking.

    Good luck.
    35 y/old female from Montreal, Canada
    Diagnosed with scoliosis(double major) at age 12, wore Boston brace 4 years at least 23 hours a day-curve progressed
    Surgery age 26 for 60 degree curve in Oct. 1997 by Dr.Max Aebi-fused T5 to L2
    Surgery age 28 for a hook removal in Feb. 1999 by Dr.Max Aebi-pain free for 5 years
    Surgery age 34 in Dec.2005 for broken rod replacement, bigger screws and crosslinks added and pseudarthrosis(non union) by Dr. Jean Ouellet

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    36
    Hi Stacey!

    As far as the broken rods go,lI have a broken rod in my back as we speek. i broke it in a car accident I had back in 94/95. it use to cause me alot of discomfort, especial when sitting. But it is gotten better. I was put threw a number of test to make sure no bone fragments were in my blood and to be sure that the rod was still secured. My doctor assured me it was not going anywhere therefore no need to remove it.
    As for your dizziness, you might want to watch them closely. I suffered from dizziness, that progress very rapidely to Meniere's disease. Very violent spells.
    I hope this help, write anytime. take care CÚcile.

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