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??Loose pedicle screws

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:25 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi everyone. I would be pulling my hair out, but it is too short right now..lol..anyway, had an ALIF in 12/06. Started having more pain by 7/07 and this past spring/fall have experienced footdrop, pain in my butt that feel like someone is poking it..have had MRI/X-rays, and EMG. My neurologist has sent me back tot he neurosurgeon (tomorrow) as my EMG reflect a pinched nerve L-5. This was where the ALIF l-5/s-1 with cadaver was done. I don't understand how a 'fused' bone can repress a nerve or this pain..I keep saying it would feel like a the screww is loose..maybe not out of place, but loose. Have done extensive research on this and come up with zero. Any suggestions? That ALIF was my 3rd back surgery and I really don't want another as I fell it worsens with each surgery. Thanks!! Deb


  • From your post sounds like another surgery is in order.

    List all your questions for the neurosurgeon tomorrow. Come back and let us know what he said.

    Good Luck tomorrow.

  • I would ask for a CT scan to see if the screws are loose.
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  • How do they see a loose screw on the CT scan. I know they see the screw but how do they know it is 'loose'?
  • Is unlikely to see a loose screw. My O/S was looking for a loose screw and answers to continued pain and numbness (different symptoms to yours)and he said from the CT it wasn't clear because of all the artifact.
    So I have had an MRI (awaiting results) and maybe a Myleogram if the MRI is inconclusive.
    So Deb, I suspect that your Dr will order an MRI first to see what is happening. It could even be slight overgrowth of bone or as you suspect a loose screw.
    If you have had your surgery 2 years ago, are you fully fused????
    If so then to take the screws and rods out shouldn't be a problem.

    Blessings Sara O:)
  • I understand that Xrays can "halo" the screw - halo effect around the screws shows that they are ?possibly loose.

    CT - Bone
    MRI - soft tissue & scarring

    Did you have a pod of being good befor ethe footdrop and buttock pain??

    I am curious cos I used to feel like someone was sticking a pole through my buttock..this has changed post operatively to a needling feeling that then comes out through my groin and travels down my legs. Leg still numb.
    I had L5 root compressed.

    I am sure when you see the doc he will have a feel for what the problem is once he sees you. Good Luck and keep us updated!!
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  • Carol said:
    How do they see a loose screw on the CT scan. I know they see the screw but how do they know it is 'loose'?
    There is a "halo" around the screw. Radiologists are trained to spot that stuff.
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