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Thread: Buldging Implants Anyone?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    Posts
    58

    Buldging Implants Anyone?

    I went to see my Dr 4 months earlier than my scheduled 2 year follow up because: 1) last May I began having left buttock pain - it was painful to rotate my leg to get out of bed and lasted for weeks but did finally resolve
    2) in June I had a "soft" fall while hiking - slipped on gravel and landed on my butt and 3) began feeling and seeing a bulge in my right buttocks. So I wanted to get checked out. By the time of my appt, my pain was resolved but the buldge is quite noticeable, both by site and to the touch. The fellow who saw me first said it is not unusual to feel or see the hardware. My Dr barely commented on it until I pressed him. He just referred to the xrays saying everything was in place, I hadn't pulled the iliac screw out, etc. I still wonder why I have this buldge now but didn't for the first 18 months post op? It seems something must have shifted but the xray does look the same as before. I am a little aggravated as I feel my concerns were given little consideration after weeks of worry, a roundtrip flight and 2 nights in a hotel!
    Does anyone else out there with a long fusion feel the iliac screw?
    Jan Lotherington,
    56* thoracic curve, 50* lumbar curve
    A/P fusion T3-Sacrum, Dec 11&13 2007
    at age 55
    Dr Bridwell

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    7,119
    Hi Jan...

    Prominent iliac screws and bolts is a well documented issue. Since the swelling occurred after a fall, I wonder if the swelling is from soft tissue. The people I know who have had a problem with the prominent iliac screws/bolts have told me that they can feel the hardware when they push on it. Are you feeling soft tissue or metal? I have a prominent connector at the top of my implants, and can definitely tell the difference of touching it vs touching bone.

    Regards,
    Linda

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    Posts
    58
    Linda,

    I am definitely feeling something hard - like metal. No pain involved, just annoying and wondering if it will get more prominent?
    Jan Lotherington,
    56* thoracic curve, 50* lumbar curve
    A/P fusion T3-Sacrum, Dec 11&13 2007
    at age 55
    Dr Bridwell

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Wheeling, WV
    Posts
    1,105
    Hi Jan,

    When I loose weight you can see one of my screws sticking out. I first thought it was a cyst, but it's hard and doesn't move.

    Shari

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    3,745
    question...does that mean that a really skinny person would have screws visible to naked eye? just asking...do they hurt more without more padding over them...?

    jess

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Posts
    455

    visible rods/screws.

    Jess,

    The tops of my rods are visible a little bit. If my husband rubs my back he can feel them and he can also feel where certain screws are even though they aren't visible. Such fun huh? Hope your doing well.
    Susan

    Diagnosed at 10, Boston brace from 11-13 yrs old.
    50* Lumbar w/ 5 centimeter shift to the left and slight rib hump...
    Surgery Date: April 15 and April 22, 2009
    X-LIF approach for disc repair L5,L4,L3,L2
    Posterior Approach for fusions L5-T5
    Dr. Fox @ Naval Medical Center Portsmouth
    Nice and straight now!!!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    52
    I also have screws visable near the top of my fusion. I don't have the iliac screws though. I'm not sure if someone would notice them if they weren't looking for it, but I can definitely tell. If you touch my back, you can actually feel the rods down pretty much the whole length of my spine. I couldn't see or feel them at first, but I could after the first few weeks. They seemed to get more and more visable for the first 2-3 months. I think it took a while for some of the swelling to come down. I asked my Dr. at my last appointment and he said it is completely normal. 18 months seems like a long time though. I hope mine don't become even more visable!
    Sarah
    22 year old grad student
    Boston brace from 12-14
    surgery on June 1, 2009 T3 to L2
    Yale New Haven Hospital Dr. Grauer
    Thoracic curve 47*
    Thoracolumbar curve 54*

    Surgery Photos
    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...8&l=a2a5799140

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,263
    Yes, my rods and screws at the top are visible.
    Surgery March 3, 2009 at almost 58, now 63.
    Dr. Askin, Brisbane, Australia
    T4-Pelvis, Posterior only
    Osteotomies and Laminectomies
    Was 68 degrees, now 22 and pain free

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    151
    I have my surgery planned for December 9th for T12 to L5 both A/P. This is the first I hear about screws and rods being visible!! This will be my excuse to gain weight so it won't be visible!!! McDonalds #5, Supersize, here I come!!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Wheeling, WV
    Posts
    1,105
    My Doctor told me from the beginning that because I was small boned and thin, that there may be a chance that some hardware would show.

    I really don't care. I'm so proud of my battle scars, which is usually the topic of the conversation. I spent most of my adult life trying to cover up my back, not now.

    Proud Survivor,
    Shari
    Last edited by Shari; 10-13-2009 at 10:55 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Lafayette, IN
    Posts
    16
    Quote Originally Posted by JanL View Post
    I went to see my Dr 4 months earlier than my scheduled 2 year follow up because: 1) last May I began having left buttock pain - it was painful to rotate my leg to get out of bed and lasted for weeks but did finally resolve
    2) in June I had a "soft" fall while hiking - slipped on gravel and landed on my butt and 3) began feeling and seeing a bulge in my right buttocks. So I wanted to get checked out. By the time of my appt, my pain was resolved but the buldge is quite noticeable, both by site and to the touch. The fellow who saw me first said it is not unusual to feel or see the hardware. My Dr barely commented on it until I pressed him. He just referred to the xrays saying everything was in place, I hadn't pulled the iliac screw out, etc. I still wonder why I have this buldge now but didn't for the first 18 months post op? It seems something must have shifted but the xray does look the same as before. I am a little aggravated as I feel my concerns were given little consideration after weeks of worry, a roundtrip flight and 2 nights in a hotel!
    Does anyone else out there with a long fusion feel the iliac screw?

    Hey, My dr just noticed my left iliac screw was a little prominent and causing some discomfort... he says we'll probably remove it once the fusion is complete... it feels like a marble under my skin.... ack.!!
    Surgery 6/29 and 7/3 of 2009~ 17 hours worth
    7 blood transfusions (3 were my own)
    26 years old at time of surgery, diagnosed at 12 -
    TLSO brace did NOTHING for me after 3 yrs wearing it...
    other than cause embarassment & torture

    Before Surgery:
    Thoracic Curve: 68 degrees
    Lumbar Curve: 89 degrees

    After Surgery:
    Thoracic Curve: 32 degrees
    Lumbar Curve: 25 degrees

    <3 Nikki

    My surgery experience album:
    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...5&l=0bcf9da737

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Lafayette, IN
    Posts
    16
    Quote Originally Posted by Shari View Post
    My Doctor told me from the beginning that because I was small boned and thin, that there may be a chance that some hardware would show.

    I really don't care. I'm so proud of my battle scars, which is usually the topic of the conversation. I spent most of my adult life trying to cover up my back, not now.

    Proud Survivor,
    Shari
    MEEEEE TOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!! I loooove the battle scars, I'm proud to have made it, gone through it, survived, and recovering!!! I always was embarrassed but now I'm like "Yo, I'm made of steel!!!" haha

    God Bless Ya Shari!!
    Surgery 6/29 and 7/3 of 2009~ 17 hours worth
    7 blood transfusions (3 were my own)
    26 years old at time of surgery, diagnosed at 12 -
    TLSO brace did NOTHING for me after 3 yrs wearing it...
    other than cause embarassment & torture

    Before Surgery:
    Thoracic Curve: 68 degrees
    Lumbar Curve: 89 degrees

    After Surgery:
    Thoracic Curve: 32 degrees
    Lumbar Curve: 25 degrees

    <3 Nikki

    My surgery experience album:
    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...5&l=0bcf9da737

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Ames, Iowa
    Posts
    1,250

    Rod showing and then depressed area & rash

    Does anyone else have this? I'm about 6 1/2 months and at 5 months I started noticing this big knob looking thing and decided it was the top of the rod at T2. My scar continues up about another 2.5 inches but that part dips way down then comes up to another smaller knob that now looks bruised. That part seems to have come out of nowhere. I'd had some really burning pain in on top of shoulder blade and then noticed that.
    Plus I still have a light rash all over between shoulders on top half of my scar. It extends out about 6 inches on each side. A doctor here sent me to dermatologist who had no idea but suggested I stop with Mederma. I did for a couple weeks but it made no change.
    This is an interesting thread. I had no idea this stuff was going to show! 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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