Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Falling after fusion surgery...

Lala329LLala329 Posts: 283
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:35 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am 3 weeks post-op from sacroiliac fusion surgery. Unfortunately, I passed out and fell a few days ago. I landed on my face and knees so it wasn't a direct blow to the surgical site, but I'm sure I put stress on the screws because when I hit the ground I was bent at the waist, my back went into extension, and I think I twisted. I called my surgeon and he said if I had severe pain and felt the screws had moved to go to the ER for a ct scan to check things. My pain was only mildly increased, so I did not think I needed to go to the ER. I really don't want a ct because of all the radiation.

My pain is now back to the normal post-op level I've been having, but I just can't shake the anxiety that I've somehow damaged the fusion. Has anyone else ever fallen after fusion surgery? Do you think I'd definitely know if I had knocked a screw loose (I have 2 stabilizing the joint)? I have no idea how fragile the screws/bone is, and I've tried to be so careful it just makes me sick that I fell.


  • just wanted you to know i understand how you feel because one day after a 3 level fusion i had a really bad fall when the nurses tried to get me walking on crutches. they insisted i walk even though i was a wreck. i was so worried about my neck. long story short a couple of the screws were never imbedded in my vertebrae. the surgeon told me i'd be ok leaving them alone.
    you get so worried . the good thing is pain hasnt increased substantially .
    its tough for you to be patient but hang in there and later on you will find out.
    i sure hope all is well....pete
  • I'm so sorry you fell. No one can saw for sure without some imaging, but chances are, you are OK. I was further along than you when I took a similar fall. My surgeon said that the instrumentation is designed to handle impact...that you'd have to be involved in a bad car crash to affect the hardware. This is, of course, assuming that the screws are placed properly, etc. and we just have to assume that our surgeons did everything textbook perfect!!

    It is a good sign that you are not in lots more pain. Even if something did happen, it is unlikely your surgeon would do anything about it at this point anyway. Try to relax and not worry about it.

    More important is to remember the rules: avoid activities that involve bending, twisting, pushing, pulling, lifting and reaching overhead or to the side. Avoid riding in cars, or at least limit the amount of time. Be sure to drink lots of fluids and, most important, walk, rest and walk some more!

    If things suddenly take a turn for the worse, you can always go in for a scan. You aren't doing any damage by ignoring the hardware. So, try to just forget about the fall and get back to thinking positive thoughts about your healing and recovery.
  • but I agree you would probably be in more pain if you did damage. I don't get why your NS would want to CT to check if screws moved - that should be clear from just an X-ray (I assume they did a baseline post-op X-ray right when they finished your case). On my post-op follow-ups I only got X-rays, even after I had "an event" I was worried about that my might moved things - they said an X-ray would show if the hardware was were it was supposed to be. Maybe the NS had part ownership of the hospital and was thinking $$$.
  • Ugh. This was my biggest fear after the fusion. I'm sorry that it happened to you. As I understand it, those screws are in there real tight, and it would take a lot of force to disrupt them. I would think that the pain would be muscular, both from the strain of the fall and the stress on the healing muscles. Will you have a checkup soon where they take x-rays to make sure everything is still in place? (I had one at 4 weeks). That should put your mind at ease.

    I fell down the stairs at 11 months, and even though it was so long after the fusion probably occurred, it scared the crap out of me. And those muscles ached so bad for several weeks---despite being almost a year out of surgery. I cannot fathom the pain and fear that falling at 3 weeks would bring about.

    Feel better soon! :)
  • I never fell, like that. But I am just 9 months 2 level fusion. I really think that if you would have done anything, you would have felt the pain increase dramatically right away. I am not a Dr, but anytime I did anything remotely wrong I felt it.Maybe not that day, but for days following. If you feel about the same, dont worry. Your Dr will be probably x-raying you at 6 weeks, I was, every 6 weeks. So I am sure it will show up then. But no big pain, should be a good sign. Try to focus on walking and resting. And I hope eveything is good for you.
  • About 2 months after my 2 level fusion I flew down the basement stairs and landed sideways on a shelf. Fortunately no damage was done, but it was scary.
  • I just noticed you had a SI fusion rather than lumbar. I didn't notice that when I wrote my other post.

    The people I know who had a SI fusion were not allowed to put any weight on the fusion side for at least the first three months. Do you have that restriction? They had to use crutches to keep the weight off.

    I think I would be more inclined to insist on getting an X-ray now that I know it is SI joint.
  • I fell on my face sort of nine months after my fusion but I landed on my carpeted floor, thank God!! I was so afraid I had hurt something that I crawled to my bed and inched my way into the bed and prayed that I did no harm to my back. BTY, I had just had a very serious Tumor surgery on my right thigh and right side of my lower stomach going from my right waist to just above my pubic area. They opened me in two places to remove the Tumor.

    I had only been home from the hospital five days!!! :jawdrop:

    Evelyn :H
    Had PLIF in 2008 and a Laminectomy. One level fusion, L4-L5.
  • I just wanted to thank everyone so much for the reassurance. You really helped me relax.

    My pain level is continuing to improve, so we're pretty sure everything is fine, and when I'm in for my 4 week appointment I'm pretty sure as everyone said I'll be x-rayed.

    Gwennie, I am not on crutches because my surgeon found that crutches put a lot of strain on the opposite si joint. He has achieved the same rate of fusion without crutches as with crutches, so he no longer has his patients use them.
  • 6th week after Laminectomy and Fusion, I slipped on ice. I fell on back but I was wearing the LDS brace including the bone stimulator. I have a new ache below waistline right side which hadn't been there before.
    I was on a trip which I had to do. Parent scheduled for open heart in a week. I did ride in a car for 4 hours following but didn't feel anything out of the ordinary.
  • i had a 2 level lower back fusion mar 31st 2011. three weeks after that a bat flew in my house without me knowing it, i looked up it was about 3 feet from my head and out of instinct i jumped and fell backwards. i developed a pain in the right side of my back approx. a week after that incident. i had xrays and dr. says it looks fine. i was reading kevins article because our cases are similar and i was curious to see if he gets this and hopefully responds. because im 35 and supposed to return to work in a few more months and honestly im severely freaked out. so kevin if you get this id appreciate a response. thanks so much....
  • I fell out of bed a couple times after my first post fusion and I didn't ask my surgeon because  he was not a beside manner kind of guy, especially being not so feeling sorry I fell!  So I waited to see my pain guy and sure as hell broken screw OUCH and he fixed it but I now have more pain in other places all the time and I guess we have to see and wait, wait for?????  I understand your situation, keep up on them and get xrays again to be sure your ok like I did with my screw!
  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    I am closing this discussion as it is  is a very old and most members have left the site or not been seen for over a year.

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
This discussion has been closed.
Sign In or Register to comment.