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Thread: broken rod

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    47

    broken rod

    I went for my 1 year post op check and I have a broken rod. It is still in line and he said the fusion around it is very good. It wasn't broken 3 months ago in my xray so it happend recently and I think it was when I slipped in the front yard on a pile of leaves. I am not having any acute pain, just the normal aches I live with on a daily basis. So we are just going to check it again in 6 months. I'm not really too worried or upset at this point; I just wanted to hear any stories of others living with a broken rod. Thanks


    2000- spinal fusion w inst. t-2 L-4
    2002 top1/2 rod removal due to rods loose
    2004 bottom rod removal due to pain
    2007 spinal fusion t-9 to L-5 due to kyphosis and leaning forward(made it worse)
    2008 internal bone stim removal
    2009 oct 15th rod removal,repair of fusion new rods t2 to s1 with pelvic anchoring, osteotomies, and 1 peek cage.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    47
    Well no replies so i guess no one is living comfortably with a broken rod and I didnt for very long. I was sitting down and reached down for my blanket piled on the floor beside me and something popped really loud and it was painful. I have been in pain since. I go for xrays tomorrow

    2000- spinal fusion w inst. t-2 L-4
    2002 top1/2 rod removal due to rods loose
    2004 bottom rod removal due to pain
    2007 spinal fusion t-9 to L-5 due to kyphosis and leaning forward(made it worse)
    2008 internal bone stim removal
    2009 oct 15th rod removal,repair of fusion new rods t2 to s1 with pelvic anchoring, osteotomies, and 1 peek cage

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,797
    Hi...

    I actually think there are a at least a people who live with broken rods. It doesn't surprise me at all that you now have pain.

    The good news is that the problem is easily fixed if need be.

    Keep us posted.

    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.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Huxley, Iowa
    Posts
    190
    I have broken rods, but am definitely not without pain! Did the other side go with the loud pop? Usually with one its just a matter of time before the other side breaks. I hope they can get you back to feeling okay soon!
    25 years old
    double 70+ degree curves before surgery
    Anterior on 11/11/08
    Posterior on 12/2/08 with titanium rods
    nearly perfect correction
    fused t-10 to pelvis
    with a hemi-vertebral osteotomy at L4

    Broke right rod at L4-L5 on 06/26/09
    Broke left rod on 10/24/09
    Revision surgery on 11/5/09 with vitallium rods
    Broke both rods again

    Had posterior than anterior revisions on 03/11 at the Twin Cities Spine Center
    Declared "FUSED" on 12/6/11

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    47
    Thanks for the responses. I had xrays today and now the rod is broken in 2 places instead of just 1. I go for a ct tomorrow to check the fusion around the new break.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    197
    Out of curiosity, what sort of material are everyone's broken rods?
    Female, age 38
    4 years of bracing, concluded at 42*upper/38*lower
    currently 64*upper/40*lower
    Fused T3-L4 on Feb 23 2011
    now 32*upper/18* lower

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    47
    My rods are titanium.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Huxley, Iowa
    Posts
    190
    My first set of broken rods were titanium, the second set were vitallium. The new set that is going in is some other kind...which I have currently forgotten the name of, its a cobalt alloy
    25 years old
    double 70+ degree curves before surgery
    Anterior on 11/11/08
    Posterior on 12/2/08 with titanium rods
    nearly perfect correction
    fused t-10 to pelvis
    with a hemi-vertebral osteotomy at L4

    Broke right rod at L4-L5 on 06/26/09
    Broke left rod on 10/24/09
    Revision surgery on 11/5/09 with vitallium rods
    Broke both rods again

    Had posterior than anterior revisions on 03/11 at the Twin Cities Spine Center
    Declared "FUSED" on 12/6/11

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Huxley, Iowa
    Posts
    190
    How was your CT? Did it show any fusion at the levels of the breakage?
    25 years old
    double 70+ degree curves before surgery
    Anterior on 11/11/08
    Posterior on 12/2/08 with titanium rods
    nearly perfect correction
    fused t-10 to pelvis
    with a hemi-vertebral osteotomy at L4

    Broke right rod at L4-L5 on 06/26/09
    Broke left rod on 10/24/09
    Revision surgery on 11/5/09 with vitallium rods
    Broke both rods again

    Had posterior than anterior revisions on 03/11 at the Twin Cities Spine Center
    Declared "FUSED" on 12/6/11

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    47
    I havent got the results yet. I sent you a pm before I your post. If you find out exaclty what kind of rods they are using let me know if you dont mind. Thanks

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,797
    Quote Originally Posted by fierceliketiger View Post
    My first set of broken rods were titanium, the second set were vitallium. The new set that is going in is some other kind...which I have currently forgotten the name of, its a cobalt alloy
    While the composition of rods might have something to do with WHEN they break, the composition is not usually the problem. By the way, the new rods you mention are probably cobalt chromium.

    If you've broken multiple rods, the one thing you can personally do to keep it from happening again, is by paying strict attention to the BLT rule -- no bending beyond 90 degrees, no twisting, and no lifting more than 10 pounds, for at least the first 3 months. Being that I'm going through that period right now, I can attest to how difficult those rules are to follow!

    --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.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Huxley, Iowa
    Posts
    190
    I wore a brace for the first three months both times, and still have yet to bend beyond 90 degrees except when I am asked to by the surgeons. Sometimes the rods break no matter what you do. I have always followed my surgeon's orders no matter how ridiculous they seemed, and still, the rods broke. It always seems like so many people want to know on this board exactly what I did wrong to make my fusion fail, when the answer could very well be, nothing. Its not something you want to think about when you have a fusion, but it happens, and the sad truth is that it could happen to anyone, not just those who didn't follow orders.
    Last edited by fierceliketiger; 03-25-2011 at 11:38 AM.
    25 years old
    double 70+ degree curves before surgery
    Anterior on 11/11/08
    Posterior on 12/2/08 with titanium rods
    nearly perfect correction
    fused t-10 to pelvis
    with a hemi-vertebral osteotomy at L4

    Broke right rod at L4-L5 on 06/26/09
    Broke left rod on 10/24/09
    Revision surgery on 11/5/09 with vitallium rods
    Broke both rods again

    Had posterior than anterior revisions on 03/11 at the Twin Cities Spine Center
    Declared "FUSED" on 12/6/11

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    122

    fierceliketiger

    I think most just ask to understand HOW it can happen and hope to prevent it. I am a worry wart and I search for information to help myself.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Ames, Iowa
    Posts
    1,250
    Has anyone heard from Fierce since her surgery March 30th?? Hope she's doing OK. May try a PM to her. Janet
    Janet

    61 years old--57 for surgery

    Diagnosed in 1965 at age of 13--no brace
    Thoracic Curve: 96 degrees to 35 degrees
    Lumbar Curve: 63 degrees to 5 degrees
    Surgery with Dr. Lenke in St. Louis--March 30, 2009
    T-2 to Pelvis, and hopefully all posterior procedure.

    All was posterior along with 2 cages and 6 osteotomies.

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