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hardware in neck

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:24 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
hey guys
i have this ongoing fear that my rods, wire and screws have broken or are coming out. how can u tell if your hardware is loose, broken or shifted?
i went for xray twice since my posterior c1 c2 fusion becasue i heard snap pop crackle in my neck.
my family doc thinks i am nuts. she assured me they would not move. how can u tell if they moved?
i am seven weeks post op. u think that metal has settled?


  • Have you asked your surgeon about this? You said your family doc thinks you are nuts, but I think you should report it to your surgeon anyway. I do know that sometimes we hear a pop when a ligament is moving over the plate, etc. I hear a lot of crackles and pops in my neck, like a regular bowl of rice krispies right after you pour on the milk, lol. The loud pops that sort of hurt worry me, but all my hardware still right where the doctor put it!

    If your hardware has broken, they would be able to see it on plain x-rays. I'm not sure how they can tell whether it has shifted. I do know that my surgeon looked to see if there was any "migration" of the plate and screws at the first few visits I had with him.

    You're still fairly new, so try to remember to take it easy still and don't push your neck too much. I can't imagine having a fusion that close to my skull (C1-2). Did you lose much range of motion?

    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • As Neck od Steel stated, those pops and crackles are "normal" but I'm of the opinion also that you should see your surgeon. Unfortunately it IS possible for the screws to migrate- the lower two screws in my 3 level fusion have come out of the bone almost completely. A simple X-ray can determine this.

    Anytime you feel that something is wrong don't feel embarassed to call your surgeon. You paid alot of money for his work and it's not over until you're healed! Trust me, your questions aren't the "silliest" they've ever heard LOL!

    Take care and let us know how you're doing,

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  • hey guys
    i had an x ray last week and all the nuts and bolts are still in place. of course i called my NS to report all this. they called back and said---- just come to your appointment on oct 30 doc is not worried about it.

    i live in ontario canada so all is covered by OHIP. my tax dollars cover it . . .. lol . . ..and many other things.

    thanks for your replies

    ps still in the collar so i can't move much anyway.
  • neck of steel
    i can't imagine having all that hardware in my neck . . . lol . . .u must snap crackle pop often
  • My noise comes from the levels above the fusion site. I have a spot that I wish I could "pop" but with all the hardware in my neck, it won't ever move!
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
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  • wow . . . my snap crackle pop is above my fusion site too. just above my c1 off to the left. i think it is ligaments and tendons. the muscles are very tight there too. the right has healed well.
    of course my fear is that the pop is a screw coming loose.
  • I'm curious about how easy it is for the hardware to move as well.. I triped over my great dane last week (2 weeks post surgery) and fell smack onto the hard floor.. I called the Dr. but he didn't seem to be too worried about the whole episode..Maybe it's harder than I think to move any of the hardware around? I'm hoping that if I damaged anything that I would feel it. I was sore the next day but other than that I felt ok...

    Any ideas?
  • i have heard that u need to fall off the second floor of a building to break or move them. lol. i would think that the cervical area has less load and therefor u would need to fall off the tenth floor to break anything in that area.
    anyone know of any symptoms u would have if hardware broke?
  • That was the same term my surgeon used on me. I was also you would know if the hardware was not in place.
  • anyone else experience loose or broken hardware?? what were your symptoms?
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