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C7 T1 fractured screw

Jay-ZJJay-Z Posts: 34
edited 10/09/2014 - 5:31 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had a c7 t1 fusion back in 2009. Now I have been of work because of recurring issues with my hand and arm as well as swelling of the throat. The sweling in my throat makes me wonder if it is just in my head because of the fact that now I know for sure that I have a screw that is fractured from a scan that I got about a month ago. well I know that its not in my head because the swelling is happening almost every day as well as bad headaches. the swelling feels like someone is pushing there thumb in my throat. I see the surgeon at the end of this month and I hope that he just removes the hardware. I'm not to sure how the screw broke but I have some theories. Has anyone els have some of the same issues or something close. Maybe some advice or anything. Thanks

The sweling gets worse as the day gose on, but is fine in the mornings. It is bad when I drive or move my head to much, like looking at the computer screen than at a paper in the desk, back and forth kind of thing.


  • repetative motion, then try to minimize the repetative motion. Bring the papers up to eye level to read, rather than try to bend your head forward and down.
    How do you think that you broke the screw? Swelling post op can continue for some time, but it may be that the motion is irritating the tissue and leading to the swelling. Also sucking on some ice may help the feeling in the throat, and some gel ice packs during the day may ease some of the tissue swelling and irritation on the neck/throat.
  • Jay-ZJJay-Z Posts: 34
    edited 10/10/2014 - 5:16 AM
    Well I was reading some other posts and someone else had the screws brake from going on a rollercoaster. I got talked into going on one about a month before I went for the scans. Less then a month before that I was tig welding with high frequency aluminum. So it might have been that, not sure. Somthing tells me it might have been the tig welding.

    The swelling is definitely from the motion. So I have just been taking it easy. I still get it from just looking downward for a longer period of time.
  • If the swelling is stemming from looking downward, then bring the paperwork to eye level.....at least until you see the surgeon.
    Why on earth would you go on a roller coaster after cervical fusion? The torquing of your neck is dangerous!
    There are certain things that you know that you shouldn't be doing, and doing them despite knowing that they are not in your best interest is dangerous and reckless. Anyone with spine fusion but especially in the cervical levels should not be riding rollercoasters, and is most likely the cause of the screw breakage.
  • I can't say that it was reckless on my part. I was told by my doctor that once I was healed I can go back to do anything, And my surgery was years ago. Also it wasn't that big of a rollercoaster. In sayings that, I will not go on one again.

    I could always feel the plate that was installed right from the start but recently it has gotten more noticeable.
  • that the screw can be removed and that there is nothing else going on with your neck.....
  • Thanks. Hopefully this surgeon can remove all the hardware. I see your side on this, but if new that I was going to have problems like this, I would have never gone on the rollercoaster. Never even came to my mind at the time I went on it.
  • I was told by the neurosurgeon specifically that I could ride roller coasters once my laminoplasty healed. I have no idea if fusion vs laminoplasty makes a difference with this recommendation but there are screws involved in both.
  • Jay-ZJJay-Z Posts: 34
    edited 10/10/2014 - 7:04 PM
    Well the fusion should be pretty strong once fused, you would think. after so many years I didn't even thing twice.
  • sandisandi Posts: 6,343
    edited 10/11/2014 - 6:04 AM
    surgery........and doesn't weaken or remove the other supporting/protective structures in the spine where fusion surgery does. Typically fusion surgery involves removing the lamina ( roof over the canal), the facet joints, and inserting a bone graft between two vertebral levels. It creates one bony segement out of two vertebra, but at the same time, the protective structures that cover the canal are removed to make room for the fusion. This leaves that area of the spine vulnerable .
    That's why riding things like rollercoasters may be okay for some people, and not for others.
    A laminotomy is simply widening the canal of the spinal cord......and doesn't necessarily weaken the spine, unless a lot of bone is removed. Nothing is removed that supports and protects the spinal canal.
  • Jay-Z said:
    Thanks. Hopefully this surgeon can remove all the hardware. I see your side on this, but if new that I was going to have problems like this, I would have never gone on the rollercoaster. Never even came to my mind at the time I went on it.

    I understand Jay-Z and really hope that things turn around for you.......I only was told not to go on rollercoasters because there happened to be a county fair in my area that we planned to take my kids to and my surgeon told me to stay away from those rides, as well as the gravity ones that lift you up off your feet, and the ones that go really high and drop you off suddenly......
  • I had my appointment and now I have to go for an mri, to be determined. And about my symptom as of today are getting pretty bad. I am going threw some bad headaches and a lot of neck discomfort pretty much every day now. The doctor said he is notconcerned about the broken screw. He thinks the disks on top or bottom are the the issue with my symptoms. He thinks the mussels in my neck are getting affected buy one of the disks. So that is some bad news but I will just have to find out. That medication I got for the headaches and neck are not working at all, naproxen 500mg.
  • I'm actually scheduled on the 22nd to have those removed & Ortho is going down another level to reinstall another set of Pedicle Screws. I have no Idea how mine broke. But can almost tell you the day it happened. I was at home & heard/felt a massive grinding/ snapping feeling in my head & neck.
    The Ortho said there was actually 3 ways to re-fix this.
    1. Larger pedicle screws in place of current.
    2. J-Hooks... Actually going in & using hooks to grab the next set of vertebrae & pull up with them.
    3. Remove broken & replace the next level down.

    I have massive pain when the current pedicle screws receive pressure. I also had an ACDF @ C3-4 Sept. 2014 & Ortho & neuro are going in to do a 1 stop fix Posteriorly. So I really hope it works for me.

    I am currently experiencing 24/7 migraines, severe pressure & pain through out my entire Cervical region.
    Surgeries: 4/13 anterior channel vertebrectomy with strut graft C4-7 followed by ACDF C4-7
    Posterior cervical disc fusion C4-T1 with instrumentation and right bone iliac crest

    Now Broken screws & fail fusion at the T1 level all other level fused
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