Hello. Certainly didn't want to have to sign in to this forum and talk about my problems and concerns, but here I am.
RN x 21 years with last 12 years as a flight nurse on a helicopter.
First fusion was single level L5-S1 with hardware. 9+ hours on the table and 6 days in the hospital. Felt good after the long recover and returned to nursing - ER, ICU.....Flight. (Might should've stayed out of flying but love my job! December 2012, my helicopter crashed. We all survived (obviously grateful) - I blew out my lumbar spine and cervical spine. Texas WC case and then we moved to Colorado....makes using Texas WC in Colorado damn near impossible. Two years after the accident, I had a 3 level fusion after they removed the old hardware from the old fusion and then fused, screwed, bolted, caged, etc. L3-L4-L5-S1. This was 14 months ago. My pain was essentially gone, physical activity was increasing and enjoyable. Great! This past Saturday I was cleaning dog poo in the backyard - nothing strenuous! POP! It was load and forceful and it scared me! There shouldn't be anything down there to pop! Then came the discomfort....then the pain. Mostly on the life; radiates into left leg. Saw my surgeon today and wouldn't you know? One of two titanium rods broke! It BROKE! Are you serious???? It's broke??? What? NO FUSION either?????? WTH? CT scan tomorrow then we schedule surgery. I asked if he was just going to replace the one broken rod. Nope. He will take ALL of the year-old hardware out, clean it up again, and place new hardware and bone graft. I just am in shock that this happened!!!! It sounds like a big job my surgeon has cut out for him (no pun intended) and I wonder if I should expect more pain post op and a longer recovery? I certainly don't want to go through this a FOURTH time if this upcoming one fails. How to prolong the life of your spinal hardware and fusion....that's my question!
Thanks in advance!
Please do not use abbreviations!!
Liz, Spine-health Moderator