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titanium rod breakage

Hi, I'm just wondering if anyone has any advice?! I'm 23 and I had Scoliosis surgery in 2005, I expected to have some pain throughout the rest of my life. I recently went to my doctor as i cant sit down for longer than 20 minutes and sleeping is near impossible without something to knock me out. They have done x-rays and I'm scheduled for a CAT scan next week. from what my doctor says, she thinks there has been a possible breakage but until the test results are back she cannot say for certain. My surgeon told me that they would not break or damage unless i was in a major trauma and even then it would be unlikely. I haven't been in an accident, had a fall or done anything to put strain on my back at all. Has anyone else suffered anything like a break as i really thought this wasn't possible!!! any advice is much appreciated.


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    It is unlikely that the rods will break but not impossible. I had two titanium screws back out of vertebre and break so I know it can happen. Hopefully the CT scan will give you and the doctor the answers you need.
    Best of luck to you,
  • Not often, but it happens. Hope the CT scan sheds some light on what's going on. Keep us updated.
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
  • jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,373
    edited 10/04/2013 - 11:55 AM

    Titanium is a very strong metal and not expected to fail.
    However, I am surprised at how many people I have read about who have had their hardware break or work loose. I think if fusion hasn't taken place then the hardware will only hold for so long.

    At one year post surgery I had an x-ray to look for fusion because it hadn't been seen at 6 months. When I asked if I was fused now his answer was that I must be or the hardware would have broken by now! That led me to think that he still couldn't see fusion on the x-ray. It is now over 3 and a half years since my surgery so I assume that I am fused.

    I hope that you will get some good news from the CAT scan or at least that it will be possible to sort it out without too much difficult.
    Please do come and let us know what they find.

  • Hi there, just joined and wanted to respond. I am now 32, I had the scoliosis surgery when I was 15, it's been many mnay years since I've been looked at, over 10 at least, but the last time I was at the childrens hospital the doc told me the rod had snapped. He said it was quite common and nothing to worry about :/ . So, I've been living with a broken rod in me for over 10 years. I suffer back pain but it's manageable to a degree, recently however the pain has moved up from lower back pain to middle back pain and it's starting to affect my work, though I havn't said anything because I cannot lose my job because I am renting.
  • This is one of the risks in Scoliosis surgery - 1: the rods do sometimes break and 2: sometimes fusion does not take place as it should, even if the rods haven't broken. The two are not necassarily related. My rods broke ten days after surgery because my surgeon put them on too tight, and my whole operation had to be redone. Also, hardware can be removed, too, after you are fused.
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