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titanium rods fractured for the second time-faulty..?

hi people, this is my first post. my adult son had two titanium rods fitted 5yrs ago, and they have just fractured for the second time, as you can imagine he's in a lot of pain. my question is can the rods be at fault? there have been news reports of various implants, prothetics, etc being of poor quality and breaking. id be so grateful to hear your experiences and points of view, thank you.

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Comments

  • WLLadyWLLady Ontario CanadaPosts: 1,433

    Hi Tarnishedhalo!  Welcome to Spine health!   Wow, that is bad luck to have them break again!  First thing that comes to my mind is if he is being very careful to not bend twist and lean.....and thus be putting a lot of stress on the bars?  I hope that there's an appointment with the surgeon booked to get it looked at.  There are also different sizes of bars, thicknessess....as for the possibility of an implant failing, i don't see why not, but only the doctor and the manufacturer can comment on that.   I would wonder if the first set was replaced with the same thing as the second set....and if so if they can put in a larger or heftier rod next time....

    Again, welcome to the forum!  i hope your son can get some help soon with his surgeon! 

    Kathy
    Spine-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. 

  • Hi Tarnishedhalo:

    I am sorry about the second set of broken rods, that does sound incredibly odd. I broke two rods after my first scoliosis surgery in 2017 and have had a revision surgery recently. I also wondered about faulty equipment, but have since learned that the rods really are not designed to support your spine forever. Apparently they are flexible and they will break if the bone doesn't fuse entirely. In my situation, there were two areas on either side of my spine (L1-L2 and L2-L3) that failed to fuse (pseudoarthrosis or false joint). Because that area kept moving, the rods were flexing and eventually broke.  I had cobalt/chrome rods and my surgeon said the titanium would've broken sooner. Maybe your son can find out whether he's completely fused? If he is, then it does sound like a potential hardware issue. I think you have to ask for the OR notes to find out what was used.

    Noreen

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  • hi noreen, thank you for your reply, i will ask him.

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