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Broken Titanium Rods

Hi-I would really be grateful for some advice - 11 months ago I underwent spinal surgery to correct scoliosis. After the ALIF the previous month I had rods and screws from T4 to my sacrum. Recovery was great for 6 months then I started getting severe spasm pushing me over to the right. I was given shoe insoles to push me back over. 6 weeks ago the pain became intense with some added neurological problems and an x ray showed one of the rods is broken. The surgeon is planning to repair everything with some extensive surgery . My problem is that I am worried whether this will happen again, worried (being totally honest) about the surgery-I woke from the anaesthetic screaming with the pain (I promise I am not a wimp!) - worried about losing yet another year...etc., etc., (I am now 54) so, if anyone has been in this situation I would truly be grateful for some words of wisdom - thanks


  • That's a massive surgery - don't know how you did it. I don't know what meds you are on but nothing worked for me until they prescribed me a muscle relaxant as well. With a broken rod your muscles will be spasming out of control trying to fix it. Hopefully that will ease your pain until the surgery.

    I haven't had surgery as I can still walk and have to go in anteriorally at those levels. You are so brave - I don't envy you but can't give advice on broken rods - other people here can though. Looks like you have no choice - you can't leave a broken rod there.

    At the moment try a muscle relaxant as that should ease your pain a bit. I honestly don't know how you coped with that surgery. They will be super careful this time if a rod broke. Just try and get some pain relief to get you through until then.

    Good luck with everything. I know how intense thoracic pain can be. Because my vertebrae is crushed to one side it really helped me when I was told the right way to lean as leaning the other way made my T4 go out of place. Maybe with a broken rod there are physical ways to make it not hurt so much and do more damage. Ask your specialist or a physio about the way you should lean so you don't continually put more pressure on the broken rod.

    Someone will answer you who this has happened to because I haven't had an operation let alone a broken rod.
  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Hello I understand waking up screaming and I am sorry you are going threwhis I had front and rear surgery at the same time with rods and screws in the back from c2 all the way to around t5 and they totally removed c4,c6, and t1 and replaced them with cages... what I can advise is that your rods are long andb thev standard says you should have a cross bar atleast every 4 inches(basically a rod going sideways from the left rfod to the right rod) with the length of your surgery I think you should speak to your surgeon about 5 or 6 cross bars,to prevent this from happening again.....I will remember you in my prayers and I agree with the other member the muscle relaxrers are the key to those severe spasms,and positioning could help greatly....best wishes
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