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Having Massive amounts of hardware removed from back! SCREWS BREAKING...HELP!!!

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:25 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi all. I am new obviously, please forgive me for having no spell check working first off! :S
My name is Eren, I am a female 28yrs old. I have had back issues my whole life it seems? During my 8yr old girls birth is when it started getting worse. I had a full spinal block and still felt every bit of it! The doctor said it was back labor and there was nothing more they could do! Kira when she came out was breaking my back. A few years passed. My back pain got worse. If I held anything of significant weight I lost feeling from my knees down. I would fall like a sack of tattas. My feet are "ALWAYS" freezing.
Many doctors turned me away thinking I was just out for pain meds or attention! Finally I went to a Dr. In springfield, who I just love BTW. A lil French Dr.,Dr. Freitag. He looked at my X rays. Did a EMG... <-- that kinda sucked! But found out indeed I did have a few nerves pinched...and have degenetate disk..."AND BONES"..."My bones have always broke very easy since a child...walking alone I have broken bones in both feet, not to mention other things!" :''( <br /> I had my first spinal fusion a few years ago! I was supposed to be able to return to work in about 8 weeks. It never happened...I am continuing to have the worst pain imaginable...Not as bad as right after the surgery...but still BAD. I take a many vicodin and morphine still to this day...Heres the reason...The Many screws they put in are sticking up and easily felt through the skin. I can feel every screw head and every rod. I have 6 screws in all. As of so far, my last Xrays showed at least 2 of them are breaking! The cadaver bone they put in as well isnt taking... The doctor said when he was chipping off excess bone it flaked right off like chalk...
So...now on Jan. 7th im supposed to have all the stuff...except the broke ones..he says he is gonna leave them instead of drilling them out! My Blood pressure dropped to 60/40 last time...nervous about that...nervous my spines gonna blow out if they remove the stuff they put in...Nervous simply as well because that surgery was THE worst thing I could have ever imagined...EVER...They say child births the worse thing in the world...BS! lol...I could have never even came close to imagining the pain that i did. I literally got kicked out of Saint Johns hospital for cursing...I remember very little of it but the pain. When they let me go, both my eyes were black as night,looked like I got beat up...all this was simply from crying 24/7. A friend of mine who visited me told me I even cried in my sleep...It felt as if the morphine pump wasnt even on. My boyfriend couldnt stand watching me in that much pain...he continued to feed me my morphine pills while in bed...as well as xanax to put me out...
It sounds bad I know and is...I guess maybe I am just a wuss and am scared what this next surgery will bring!? I want to go back to work to school to anything! Please anyone with any kind of info on this let me know...ever greatfull... :jawdrop: :SS


  • I am so sorry that you having such a rough time right now! :''( Have you gotten a second opinion? If you are not feeling comfortable with what this doctor tells you he is going to do, please go see another surgeon. What levels did you have fused? Did it fuse at all?

    I don't know, personally, but I believe I have read on here that the surgery to remove hardware is not as difficult to recover from as the original fusion surgery? I'm sure they will be here soon and share what their experiences were.

    You mentioned something in your post that troubles me. If I'm reading your post correctly, you said that while you were in the hospital and on a morphine pump, your boyfriend gave you morphine pills? Do you realize how dangerous that can be? Never, NEVER take any medications the hospital does not give you! Your life could be in danger!! Ok, I'll stop ranting on you now. :T

    If you say with your present surgeon, is there a way he can do the surgery earlier than Jan. 7?

    Have you tried a heating pad and/or ice packs to help with the pain?

    Please keep us posted, ok? >:D< >:D<
  • on 7th Jan you are to have the 2 broken screws removed or is the Dr just going to check them all and take out the broken ones?
    ALso if you haven't fused, then waht is going to hold your back together if he isn't replacing them.

    Now I agree with JOY that you have to be so, so careful with meds. Morphine can lower your Blood pressure and if your boyfriend was giving you extra no wonder you had problems! The Dr will give you extra meds if needed so let them know if you have pain so they can prescribe something that isn't harmful to you.

    Having said that, you have been taking meds for so long now, you are probably building up a resistance to them so I would suggest that you try to wean off them even a little as it will give you moer pain relief after your surgery.

    I am sorry you are going through all this as it is not easy at all. Just try to be more positive about this new surgery and if in doubt get a second opinion.
    Blessings Sara O:)
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  • heating pads and especially ice makeit worse...travels throught the metal and buggs it worse...dr said to be carefull with ice and getting frost bite inside myself...The pain after the surgery was un imaginable! I was out of it...was unable to leave the house for almost 3-4 months...was only in hospital a few days...as i said they kicked me out...but it was as if they didnt understand the pain...can email me and i can show u xrays of my screws and where its at...email at cherrybomb80@yahoo.com if interested. Thanks for help so far :S
  • thanks...i try not to take the morphine if i can help it...makes me throw up and feel miserable....he said he doesnt wanna take all of the broken ones out...he dont wanna drill around them since the cadaver bone isnt fusing...my dr. is like my 3rd oppinoin...he was the only one whom wanted to help me out...just hope taking em out wont be as bad as putting them in...he plans on taking out scarr tissue, and putting in more cadaver bone...fitting me with a turt;e back brace...same as last time...dunno. Its very scary! thanks for any input and concern. if u email me at cherrybomb80@yahoo.com can show ya my xrays! kinda gnarly..its my lower back. :SS
  • Welcome to S~H :H

    I'm sorry you are having problems,and in such pain.Now,I haven't had spinal surgery as of yet,but have had hardware removed(other parts of the body)..and speaking from only those experiences the pain was not as bad as the initial surgeries where hardware was installed.

    Whenever there is trauma to the bone there is going to be pain involved.Much of that(not all of course)can be helped with a healthy attitude,respect of our bodies,and knowing what is happening with the surgery/surgeries involved.Maybe asking your surgeon more specific questions regarding exactly what he/she plans to do..and how that is going to help your situation would put your mind at ease a little.It always helped me to know the specifics and expected outcome beforehand.

    Good luck to you~I wish you well :)))
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  • doctors not sure what he's 100% gonna do once he gets in there...everything he thought about me has proven to be the opposite! So hes more a less gonna wing it...this sounds bad, but most doctors are too affraid to even try...I feel as though im gonna be S.O.L.?they gotta redrill the screws they can get out. I am worried about my bones in my spine cracking or fracturing during...or after... 8}
  • Hi Eren,
    Oh, baby girl, my heart hurts for you. I had my hardware removed five weeks ago, so I can answer your questions about the surgery from recent firsthand experience. It is not nearly as bad as fusion, although the first couple of days after the surgery pretty much suck. I agree with Aussie Girl -- try to wean a bit from the meds prior to your surgery to make it easier for them to control your post-op pain. Ice should not be making your pain worse -- that leads me to believe that you're having some kind of nerve problem. Frostbite from an ice pack is very unlikely, unless the ice is unbelievably cold (like dry ice, flash-freezing kind of cold). Ask your doc for Lyrica -- it dulls the nerves, and it really helps without overdoing the narcotics.

    If you bones haven't fused, that needs to be addressed PRONTO! My hardware was removed only after they confirmed that my bones had successfully fused. You need a diagnosis as to what exactly is wrong with your bones. I'm not a doctor, but I suspect that that has a lot to do with why you are in so much unbelievable pain. Bone pain is f*ing fierce! IMO, they never should have put you through the agony of fusion with your history of weak bones. Before going under the knife again, you need some answers, girl!

    My biggest piece of advice: Get yourself to the best spinal surgeon you can find. I went to Dr. Cammisa, Chief of spinal surgery at New York's Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS). He's considered one of the best in the world. I was blessed to have him as my surgeon for both the fusion surgery and the surgery to remove the hardware. He's not the warm and fuzzy type, but he will give it to you straight and he is the best. And if he has to refer you to other experts, he will only send you to the best. Also, because HSS is a surgery-only hospital, the pain management is top notch, and the incidence of post-surgical infection is much lower than general hospitals, which are full of sick people and their infernal germs.

    I'm more than happy to answer any questions you have. Hang in there, Eren.

    Deb P.
  • I am on public aid..insurance...so my choice of doctors is limited..as well as any form of travel. I have been out of work for almost 2 years now. I tried lyrica, but it made me gain weight so i was told to stop. :/
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