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Pedicle Screw removal - 12 years later

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:23 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi All

Some of you may have read my intro but for those that missed it:

12 years ago I suffered an unstable fracture to my T12 vertebrae. I had it corrected with surgery which involved a spinal fusion from my T11 to my L1 and pedicle screws were inserted to support my spine.

I have been having some back pain and some neurological symptoms in my legs. Recent scans have revealed that the screws have become loose; my GP said it looks like it might be slipping out of place.

I will now need surgery. My GP thinks that my neurosurgeon (who I see on Sept 25th) will remove the screws altogether.

Has anyone had pedicle screws remvoed this long after insertion?

I have a 16 month old, so I am worried about how long the recovery time will be, anyone want to take a guess?

SP :)))


  • When I had my surgery,way back when, I was put into a body cast for 6 weeks, please tell me they dont do this nowadays?
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,732
    Hi sneekypuss,
    no more body casts that I've heard of. and recovery for me was about 6 weeks as with any major surg.
    Good luck, Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
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  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,732

    don"t be scared its not really that major.
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • Hi Jim

    Thanks for the re-assuring comments.

    As we all know, back surgery isnt pleasant, but when I had my first sugery, I was 23 and alone in the UK as I had broken it when I was there on a working holiday visa. My dad flew over from Canada the day of surgery, but up until then, it was pretty scarey.

    The only obstacle this time, is finding someone to help out with our daughter. My family is in Canada (I'm Canadian married an Aussie), and it would be too costly to have someone come down. My father in law has brain cancer, so my mother in law is busy looking after him, or else she would be here for as long as I needed her. We really cant afford my husband to take the time off work to help, but if need be, he will.

    I know this surgery wont be as bad as the first, but still worried about the after care.

    Thanks for listening!

  • Hi Sneaky. I had pedicle screws and rods removed due to the fact that they were causing me complications from the new bone growth. Having them removed was such a relief that the recovery time was so worth it. I have the hardware they removed in a cup marked "Amy's spare parts"!! I figured I paid for the damned things so I wanted to keep em!! LOL. It's a good conversation starter anyway!

    I hope that you are able to find some help with the little one while you heal. I know that when I had mine removed I had a baby to care for and that makes it pretty difficult. I wanted to pick her up out of her crib/highchair/floor but couldn't and that was SOOO frustrating.


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  • Hardware removal is nothing compared to the actual fusion.

    Also, ask your doctor about any services they know of to help you. I know around here (Massachusetts, U.S.) They have services where a person will come to your house and do your cleaning, help you with whatever it is you need them to do. Or, you could hire a babysitter, at the very least. Maybe some of your friends have daughters old enough (mid to late teens, or young adult) that could come over and help with your child, while your husband is at work... Then leave when he gets home.
  • Tia,

    This is late in the month but thought I would share.

    You can call 211, it is a national number for United Way but you can request information for caregivers in your area to assist you.

    Local churches and organizations do this and other services to assist people while recovering.

    I was a service coordinator for special education clients and kiddos and I have used this number recently for similar instance of what you are seeking.

    You can also look for local MOM groups and I am sure they would rally to assist you. Look under Meet up meetings and it will ask for your area. Craigslist is a good source also.

    Hope this helps and Good Luck ! BJ #:S
  • I had a trilevel spinal fusion about 2 1/2 years ago following a motorcycle accident. I have never been out of pain since the surgery. I have continued with loratab 10/325 since surgery and I am so used to the meds it barely even works now and I am in constant pain. My pain management place finally ordered a myleogram and found a broken screw which they did not tell me about they just told me to come in for a shot for pain. I noticed the broken screw on the screen myself and said something to the Dr and he then decided to call my surgeon. The surgeon will not even see me for 3 weeks. Is this normal not to take care of something like this especially when a patient is in severe pain.
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