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Cervical hernia surgery with titanium or steel screws?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery

I’am writing on behalf of my 58 years old father because he is in a desperate situation. Five years ago he had here in Romania a double cervical herniated disc surgery – between C5-C6 and C6-C7. Doctors used as a substitution of the intervertebral discs, his own pelvic-abdominal bone (I think the name of the bone is iliac crest). The doctors attached to the new formed “block” (=C5-new bone disc-C6-new bone disc-C7) a metal plate made from titanium for suport . This titanium plate was “bounded” to the block with six screws. After these years my father has again back problems and needs an MRI (magnetic resonance) but the big problem is that the doctors who made the surgery are not sure if all the screws they put inside my father’s neck are from titanium 100% or some of them have the core made from steel. They made a CT scan but didn’t help them to clarify the problem. This way he can not get the MRI he needs. Doctors said that if his condition will get worse they have to make another surgery to get the titanium plate and screws out and only after that to make the MRI to see where exactly the new problem occurred in the spine. The titanium plate and screws after 5 years joint toghether with the tissue so good that the surgery to remove them is really dangerous. My father’s body didn’t rejekt the plate and screws, he recovered well enough after the surgery, that’s why 2 years ago when he went again for a check up the doctors told him that removing the plate is to dangerous and if it doesn’t disturb him in any way, he should let the plate where it was. He didn’t have the surgery then….and now it's more complicated. My appeal for you all is to tell me if you know any other way for us to find out from what kind of material the screws inside the neck are made from. If we can find out that there is only titanium 100% he can get the MRI and even make a new surgery (if necessary) without removing the plate and screws. Thank you all for reading my long post and I apologise for my writing mistakes.



  • i am not that knowledgeable about this problem but i can offer a few suggestions to determine composition of the material.

    how about using minimally invasive surgical tools to drill out part of one screw in order to test the material.

    what about checking with mri technician to see if they could just give a very minor magnetic field that could check to see if any of the ions of the screw alligned in such a way that the material could be determined without creating damage.
    to your dad.

    how about checking with ultrasound technicians to see if that technology can detect difference

    how about taking one titanium and one steel screw and do ct scan to determine exposure that might tell the difference between the two.

  • Hi Pete, thanks a lot for your answer. I was thinking also about the minor magnetic field, I will tell him to talk again with the doctor, maybe there is a solution. He took a CT scan and they analyzed each screw but no difference appeared...that could mean they can be all from titanium or all from steel so your first or last solution would resolve this dilemma. Ultrasound could be a solution, who knows. I really hope here in Romania we'll find the right doctors to help him. In the hospital, the medical imaging doctor didn't offer him any solution, I don't know why, he didn't know, he didn't care or he was expecting a bag with money?! I will post here what is coming up. Thanks again and take care of yourself too!
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