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Trial/Permanent in & Screws Broken

Well, thanks to this site it had helped me to get the information i needed to take the next step.

On the 30/5/12 I had the Trial of the St Jude Doral Column Stimulator done here in Brisbane Australia, I had opted for the Paddle version as I had heard about leads migrating, and after 4 spinal operations with things going wrong I didn't want to take any chances.

One thing they don't explain to you is the wonderful external battery that you will be carrying around with you for this period. My trial was for 7 days, I was in hospital for 2 days and then sent home to see if this was for me. I had a few program done and found it was reducing the pain (but I wonder now, was it because I was also on Endone due to the surgery of the paddle and also the Lyrica medication for the nerves) I hated the fact that I couldn't shower, but that was overcome and I also hated that bloody battery hanging of my clothing and or pulling my clothing down. But it was only for a week.

Before Leaving the hospital my surgeon had be have a Fine Cut CT Scan done and the result was good that the Paddle had not moved, then he hit me with a BUT - I thought to myself "No, No more buts Please - he then told me i had 2 screws broken half way done the shaft at S1 level - how can this happen when they are Titanium screws that are 26mm in length with a 5mm in diameter, it just cant happen. And its only been 6 months since they had been put in this time. I have been hit with yet another set back!!! Its been 5 long years now and still going.

But I took the next step on the 6/6/12 and had it fully implanted, OMG!!!! the pain that I am in and still going through at the moment due to the Battery Site. My battery was implanted in the fatty part of the back - just above the your pants line, I cant have anything touch the area, I can only sleep one way, can only sit one way. Its now the 16/6/12 and the dressings have all gone and I can finally shower like a human again. The area is still very sore, but where the paddle was implanted is also sore, maybe sore is not the right word but Tight, it could be all the internal stitches, same with the battery site.

The nerve pain I had that use to stop me from getting out of bed in the morning, is not there and I pray that it now stays away, their is occasional break through pain in the legs, but the spasms have eased off. The battery site is still sore but I can touch it now, but still not lay on it etc.

As for my screws, I am still in shock and have been told my recovery will be set back, I will be required to have 6 weekly CT's to make sure the bone from the fusion is holding together and that the screws don't move. Please God make this all ok. My surgeon has contact the manufacturer of the screws / plates and of cause they are taking the sweet time in getting back to him.

This is my story in brief , and was wondering what other peoples experiences have been like, and if any has had or heard for the problems with the screws, I would love to hear from you. In box me if you like.



  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    I had 2 broken screws in my cervical. One had actually shattered within the locking unit. It took my surgeon 2 hours to pick the shattered pieces out of my spine. Mine were also titanium. When you sign consent for surgery it will tell of all the risks and possible hardware failure. Being titanium you wouldnt think they could break but they do. There are others on this site that have also experienced broken hardware. Yes my surgeon was shocked to find this but it happens unfortunately. Good luck
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