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Cracking and Popping sounds 3 weeks after surgery

I had a spinal fusion for my scoliosis 3 weeks ago, recently my back started making cracking and popping sounds and I'm just scared that i may have broken a rod or gotten a screw loose. I am gonna go to the doctor but I really need an opinion from you guys. Please write back as soon as possible. Is this normal or not?



  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,584

    Of course, I can not, nor anyone else here can say, but cracking and popping sounds after lumbar or cervical surgery can be pretty normal.   Read the excerpt from one of Spine-Heath medical articles.   But for piece of mind, you might just want to call your doctor and ask them.

    Crepitus: harmless joint cracking

    Any time a joint in the body creates a cracking, popping, or grinding sound or sensation, this is known as crepitus. Experts believe that crepitus is caused by gas bubbles in the synovial fluid of the joint either bursting or being formed.

    Crepitus is considered harmless, and studies have not shown any evidence that it can cause joint damage or raise risk for arthritis.

    A surefire sign that a neck crack is the result of crepitus is to repeat the movement that caused it and see if it occurs again. If not, the crack was probably crepitus—it takes about 20 minutes for the gas bubbles to reform.

    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • WLLadyWLLady Ontario CanadaPosts: 1,493
    edited 06/07/2018 - 6:56 AM

    oh i snapped and cracked and popped for 1.5 years after surgery (i'm just about 1.5 years post surgery now-10 levels fused)!  in the beginning it was gas bubbles being released (crepitus)-i went in a panic to my surgeon-i think all my hardware is loose it's making so much noise!  and everything was just fine...just healing.  later on it was the muscles and tendons settling into their new to them homes.  the screws get put through and under muscles, and they all have to change to run around the screws and the bars, and sometimes they would stretch and snap into a new spot.  much more recently now is creaking and popping from my ribs along the fusion at T9-11.  the joints are cracking (just like cracking your fingers)....again, more healing going on.  my surgeon told me that if the hardware was moving i would be in a TON of pain and headed to emerg because it hurt so much....and sure enough the xrays all came back just fine.  best to check with your doctor, it is such a process this healing thing, and all these weird things that we've never gone through before!  your dr can do a quick xray and see if there's any problems.  it's so simple....for peace of mind....

    Veritas-Health Moderator
    Dec '16 T10-S2 fusion with pelvic fixation. Laminectomies L2, L3, L4, L5, facet removal, cages L4-5, L5-S1, severe scoliosis, arthritis and stenosis repair. 

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  • thanks i'll check with my doctor, I am not feeling pain because of the popping, its just happening every time i move

  • My back now squeaks randomly. It is loud enough my husband can hear it.

  • Oh wow, I'm glad I read this. Since I'm getting ready to have a 14 level fusion, I probably would have been freaked out if this happened!

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