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TraseeTTrasee Posts: 571
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:40 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hey Spineys,

I have what maybe a kinda dumb question. For me that is normal :) I tried searching without much luck. Have any of you heard of people actually rejecting their hardware, fusion, etc?

I have had a lot of pain the past couple of days. This is different pain than I have from incision pain. It is deep inside pain. Unfortunately, my surgeon is on a short vacation, and the Dr that is filling in for him, I would not allow to touch my dogs. And unless my arm is falling off I refuse to go to er here. So, again I know this is a vague posting ( not sure how to explain pain) and I am not able to find much that makes sense on these types of rejections. Plenty of info on organ rejection, though. LOL

Any thoughts, would be apprectiated.



  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    It is possible. But it could also be some kind of infection (if you are showing any signs of that). Depending on the strength of the pain it could be normal recovery pain as well as the bone and tissues heal. Bone pain can be "deep" in nature.

    When will you be able to see the doctor?
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • I do have a friend that had hardware in her leg. She NEVER felt right after they put it in. She insisted it was the metal in her leg and that her body was reacting to it.

    She had it taken out as soon as she could. She woke up from that surgery and felt IMMEDIATELY better.

    Now how much is physical and how much mental - that's anyone's guess.
  • I see your surgery was on 11/16, it's been only a month so by now your incisions should be healed or fairly well healed and your sutures used to close you up in layers should begin to disolve.

    Are you having any fevers? Chills? Any redness/warmth at the incision site? Any raised areas?

    Titanium rejection is very rare. And it has also only been a month, could just be a mechanical ache from having a screw shoved in your bone ;)

    In any case you should notify the doctors office, at worse that other doc could order an x-ray or labwork to see if your WBC count is up (indicative of infection and/or rejection if that is your fear, as WBC's would be swarming the hardware if that was the case).

  • for this to happen several times during your recovery. I'm over a year out from my surgery and I have times when I have deep horrible pain. It is, as Jakotsu said, from having a screw or multiple screws, drilled into your bones. Let's face it -- you have foreign objects in your body that your body probably doesn't want there, but they hold everything together. You will have flares of pain, but they will get better.

    P.S. I forgot to say that I was afraid I'd have problems with the hardware. I once had a pair of titanium-framed glasses and got a horrible rash on my face from them. Your hardware, however, is most likely not touching your skin.


    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • I won't be of much help b/c I haven't had a fusion. I do know that Titaneum is highly accepted by the human body. It doesn't mean that your body isn't reacting to but it's tough to compare body's rejection of titaneum to another humans organ.

    I would call and make sure you can get in with your doctor as soon as he returns. If the pain goes away great but at least you have the appt.

    I wish I could offer more. Are you getting any relief from the pain meds?
  • Everyone for the great guidance. Infection is always on my mind, I had a horrible infection after laminectomy in 06, so I am extra cautious with the incision site, etc. I really think the deep pain is what Linda and Jakotsu, and AZ all referred to. I am just a little freaked out when the pain is hitting a 8-9 before meds can kick in and at best get me to a 7. I will be calling Jedi Master Ortho Surgeon on Monday :) Thanks for listening and giving that little extra calm I am sorely lacking.

  • The reason I say it is because I have the deep pain still, but it's more of an ache if I move the wrong way (any type of twisting). I figure it's just pulling on the hardware and irritating the bone/surrounding tissues.
  • Congratulations on your recovery. I can understand the strange moves causing aches and pains and I THINK I am prepared. This surgery was so different than previous, I think it is making me struggle a little more. But I think it is all going as expected.

  • ...can also cause a pain flare, now that you have metal inside. I know we're getting a storm waaaay b4 any weather reporters now. It's a deep, dark "colbalt blue" pain (how I always describe it to my NS) & even after 2 years now, it's there when the barometer drops, or we get high winds or dampness/rain/snow etc.
    But you are so early out yet---keep an eye on it, if it starts to get worse, as w/ a history of infections, you need to be vigilant. I also had a lammy in 06, then my fusion in 08 & as you say, this surgery is so different than the others, the struggle IS more difficult....plus we have no bench-mark to compare things to, ie: how do we REALLY know things are just "normal healing pain" vs something more...?
    Drove me (& sometimes still drives me) nuts...& I concur w/ Linda: our bones cry out @ being drilled into...& bone pain is deep, indeed. Waaaay inside, in places never meant to have been touched, let alone assaulted.

    But pester your surgeon when he returns. You paid him big $$--he works for you! Can't ever be too careful after a fusion. If something doesn't feel right, listen to your body. There is great wisdom there.

    You've been thru a lot. Be sure to rest a lot. We are always so impatient & fusion recovery is a zero-sum game: wait, walk, rest---for months & months.

    Sending you good thoughts--

    ~Lakeside (storm-side tonight..eeewww!)
  • Finally broke down called surgeon's office today since I'm not feeling well at all and my sis who can see my whole incision better than I can was freaked that it was swollen red and streaky,and hot to the touch, but no discharge. Mild fever from 99.9-100.8 at highest.

    But lo and behold HIS OFFICE IS CLOSED until Monday. WTF??? It's not even the holiday eve yet and they are closed with no back up except 911 or ER. I am so livid and trying so hard not to cry uncontrollably.

    I ended up at my PC's partners FNP. She is super kind and thinks I am developing an infection. She immed placed me on Bactrim(sp)? And wants to see me Saturday morning. She said a couple of days of this particular antibiotic should show at least minimal improvement. If not she is sending to hospital for IV antibiotics. I think that if is infection, It has been recognized much sooner than previous laminect. infection. So maybe this won't be so traumatizing.

    I don't know wth the deal is with infections after these surgeries. I am a clean clean person, clean house, not even dust bunnies. I wash wound with antibacterial wash minimum twice daily.

    I appreciate the replies and hope everyone has a happy holiday. And especially my new friend (((((Andrea))))) MC my friend.
  • Wishing you feel better very soon. Hopefully the meds will kick in and you will be starting to get some relief. Let us know how you are doing, please.
  • Oh my, I can only imagine how scared and worried you are right now. I'm so sorry to read that this is happening. It sounds like you may have caught it in the very earliest stages, so that is really good. I hope the Bactrim has kicked in and you feel at least some relief.

    I wonder why you are prone to these infections. Did you have both surgeries done by the same doctor or in the same hospital? I wonder if other patients have had these issues as well.

    I hope this doesn't put too much of a damper on your holiday, I really want you to be able to enjoy the holiday weekend. I <3 ya, I really hope you are feeling better by the time you read this. I am sending TONS of virtual hugs your way... and all 5 of the pets that live in this house are crossing their paws for you ;)

    Update and let us know how you are feeling, and have a wonderful Christmas (that's an oder!! haha)
  • Sometimes there is an underlying infection and after surgery you are more susceptable to infection,so then it comes out ;-) Colonized is the word, inactive infections which can become active later on at times when your immune system is impaired.
  • Awwww you are all so kind. Lisa and Andrea hugs and hugs. Jakotsu, you have to be right about this infection thing. I have had one after each surgery except one and that Dr started me on antibiotics 1 week prior to surgery. Diff phys in diff hospitals have done my lumbar procedures, so good sense would say it is me. I really feel crappy, achy, incision is beyond painful and I AM JUST PISSED OFF. Trying to be all zen just isn't doing it for me. Thanks for the love and input. I am trying to sleep a lil so can have a lil christmas with the fam,

    Happy Holidays,
  • My incision is looking much better so several days of Bctrim must be doing something right. The redness has diminished a huge amount, swelling is down and fever is gone. Incision is still a lil warm. But I will worry that once my cycle of antibiotics is completed. The only strange thing I see now is, the whole incision looks really bruised, not just the bottom quarter as before.

    I have yet to speak to my Surgeon, i have a follow up 1/05/10 so he is so going to get an earful. Maybe this is how he wants his practice run , but If I DON'T receive some serious butt kissing from him. There are going to be fireworks. There is too much I don't understand about a surgeon giving you an option of the ER or 911 in this tyoe of situation.

    Happy New Year everyone and be safe.
  • Glad to hear that the Bactrim has been working. Scary though to think of what it might have been if you'd had to wait until Monday - I'd have been all for that ER visit!

    let us know if there's some butt-kissing happening, your deserve some VIP treatment!
  • Thanks Amy,

    I felt better yesterday than I have in almost 7 weeks. I even played fetch with the Molly monster yesterday. She's even getting better about bringing me the ball.

    I will def let the friends here know how that visit goes, I may be looking for new Surgeon from here on out if he doesn't make it clear what needs to be done in emergency.And that will hurt since I really like him. ER/911 just isn't sensible for surgical questions or issues to me. I think that abuses the system for people that really have an emergencly. I would hate to think I was being cared for by 911 emt's while some teenager was dying from a car accident or something equally awful, Just because my surgeon has no answering service to page him for pt issues or someone else on call for those reasons.

    Junping off the soapbox again and listening to the sweet sound of my pooch "talking" in her sleep.
  • Jump on your soapbox anytime Trasee :)

    I also played fetch yesterday, but it's with my son & DIL's cat! She's decided that a little blue rubber ball is her new best friend and actually carries it to us, drops it at our feet and waits for us to toss it for her. Weird.
  • Lol Amy not so odd at all. My bff's cat fetches peppermints. You know the little round red and white indiviually wrapped peppermints? He won't eat , just fetch LOL.
  • Those cats! I swear they are the best mood lifters ever :). Wish I still had a dog, but we lost ours a few years ago and haven't been able to overcome it yet.

    Oh- one other funny thing, our youngest cat, NT, actually goes around the house opening all the doors - INCLUDING the front door! They are all lever handles and if we don't lock them, he's got it open.

    Like I said, they are the BEST for making me feel loved and appreciated or making me laugh when I need it :)
  • Traci I am so so so glad to hear you're feeling so much better. I'm also happy to see what you are going to do about your surgeon. Seriously, going to the ER is absolutely ridiculous, and for all the money he is making off you.... I think that asking to page him for any question you have is NOT asking too much. Plus he's a DOCTOR.. he is supposed to be there to help! I b**** and moan about my surgeon never calling me back but at least I get a call from his assistant. She told me that no question is too small, it's better to ask than to keep something from them. I hope if you do end up leaving his practice that you can find someone who accomodates your needs. At least this time you will have a bigger check list of things that are important in a surgeon's practice to you. : )

    My dog is currently kicking in his sleep, and it's soo cute. Our pets really do help us heal so much! Amy I'm sorry to hear about your dog that passed. It does take time to heal from that... they really are members of the family!
  • Yep - I think our animals help us live longer :) and at the very least - happier!

    Trasee - how are you faring now? Has the bactrim cleared things up?
  • SouthernBorn80SSouthernBorn80 Mississippi Posts: 2
    I've had my rods screws pins and plates in my back for almost 4 years, from fracturing my T5 T6 and T7 and a fusion at L1 and L2. And I deal with severe pain on a daily basis. But, my question is this past weekend I hurt like never before what is the likelihood of me getting an infection or body rejecting the hardware? 
  • SouthernBorn80SSouthernBorn80 Mississippi Posts: 2

    I've had my rods screws pins and plates in my back for almost 4 years, from fracturing my T9 T10 and T11 and a fusion at L1 and L2. And I deal with severe pain on a daily basis. But, my question is this past weekend I hurt like never before what is the likelihood of me getting an infection or body rejecting the hardware? 

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    Hello SouthernBorn80!
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