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broken screw 1 yr after surgery

shannon evanssshannon evans Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:56 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am a 32 yr old male, in very good shape, not overweight, however i do smoke. I had lumbar fusion last September, at my last office visit my Dr. showed me my x-rays and i now have a broken screw. Now they are telling me that my fusion did not occur and I am "unstable" and require another surgery.(which I'm not thrilled about) Should I get another surgeon, a lawyer? The risks that they are talking about seem like too much to bear. The way they want to go in this time is through my stomach, which has a 2% risk that I might be infertile after the surgery. (my fiance and I plan to have children) My second option that my Dr. really does not want to do is go in the same way they did the first time, but with all the scar tissue could increase my risks. Please someone give me some advise on what i should do?


  • HI Shannon,

    First let me say welcome to spine-health. Have a look around and you will find others whom have had failed fusions. So your not alone as there are some including myself whom had to have revision surgeries, although was cervical. AS far as hardware failure there are others here with the same issue, so as far as calling a lawyer it is just the risk of surgery. However, you should be getting a second opinion on surgery, I know I would. Also if you don't fully trust the surgeon you might want to find a new one, as trust is so important.

    But go through some of the threads and you can see others having issues with their surgery, and what type of surgery they ended up doing. One person I can think of at the moment is Kathyy, who is in need of a revision, that is a three year old surgery.

    Just thought i would stop by and welcome you to spine-health. If there is anything I can do, don't hesitate to pm me. Take care and keep up posted.
  • I would highly recommend you get another opinion before you have another surgery.
    I am 2 weeks post-op from having all my screws removed, but my fusion from a year ago did take.
    It sure couldn't hurt to have a fresh set of eyes to look at your case to make sure you really need another surgery, especially as involved as this next one may be.
  • with Mindy and Tamtam...a second opinion would at least give you peace of mind that going thru a revision is appropriate.

    You definitely want to get some support to quit smoking before going thru such a big surgery so you can optimize you chance of fusing. At least that is one thing that you can control in this situation.

    Good luck and let us know how things progress,

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