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Hardware in back

Mindymork62MMindymork62 Posts: 207
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:45 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
How can you tell if the Hardware they put in your back in a double fusion is not working? I sat down in the chair today and almost jumped out because I felt something piercing my back. Can you tell if any of the hardware has broken off? Are there any symptoms you can feel? I am 3 weeks post-op.


  • I have just finished posting an answer to your other thread 'Is this normal'. :-)

    Firstly, if you feel terrible pain that makes you think something is wrong, do call your surgeon to get his opinion. (I am not medically trained, and only have my experience to go on.)

    I have also had various aches and pains, including a pricking/stabbing pain sometimes around my hardware/incision. I would imagine that if any hardware had broken off, you would feel extreme pain! :''(

    At the 3 week stage, there is still an awful lot of healing that needs to take place. If you think about what was done to you during your double fusion, it is not surprising that you are feeling lots of different pains. Your bones, nerves, muscles, ligaments and other tissues, have had a major assault to them.
    My physio likened it to me being in a major accident that ripped deep into my body. Not surprisingly, my body was reacting!! The healing of all those tissues is going to take a while.
    Be kind to yourself, and give yourself that time.

    Meanwhile, to pass the time, come and chat with us. >:D< It will help us too! :D
  • My surgeon told me that if you move a certain way, a muscle can catch the top or edge of the "nut" that holds the screw and it can make a snapping sound that can make you feel like something has broken...or, it can give a poke. Unless you took a bad fall, I would guess this is probably what is going on with you.

    I've had two fusions by two surgeons, and each said that it is very unusual for a screw to break. They can loosen or work their way up to the surface if the patient is not careful about bending and twisting. But the screws are very strong and designed to withstand quite a forceful blow, like a mild car crash.

    I don't know how long ago you had surgery, but the "interior" swelling can last months post-surgery. I would think it more likely that some swollen tissue rubbed up against a screw, and that this is a "normal" occurrence. Oops, I see you're 3 weeks out. That is VERY early in recovery. I certainly still had tons of swelling on the inside at that point...not that I was aware, but my surgeon told me I did!

    If you are like many of us, you will continue to have odd pokes and pains for many months to come. Some of us have reported that it took a good year until we were feeling more-or-less "back to normal."

    If you are worried, call your surgeon's office.
  • I will be going to see my surgeon in 2 weeks, and I will let him look at my back. The Ortho. Dr. told me the day after my surgery that my bones were very soft. My hubby and daughter looked at my back and they could feel something hard, like a big knot just below my bra line. The nurse had already warned me that there would be allot of swelling and a big knot where the incision was closed. Is it normal to have to be taking my pain pills still every 4 hours? I'm on a narcotic pain med and it gives me a little relief, but a little is better than none.
  • Hi Mindy! I consider myself (somewhat) normal LOL and I am still taking meds for pain at almost 5 months out.

    At 3 weeks out, I was already in PT and taking meds every 4-6 hours.

    I know it is said so frequently, but a lumbar fusion is a journey that takes a good year for healing and fusion! Hang in there! Definately take your meds and stay ahead of the pain!

    Wising you the best with your recovery!
  • I had surgery almost 5 months ago and I still take pain meds 3 to 4 times a day.
    Also when my back is hurting and I sit on the couch or a high back chair I swear I can feel my hardware.
    It must be from inflammation

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