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Help, need advice

Amanda LAAmanda L Posts: 22
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:29 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi, Went this past Monday for my 6 week check up. I was suppose to have a 360 degree surgery. But it ended up different because of factures to my L5. Anyway, I have a bolt thur my S1 into my L5. with 4 screws and 2 rods, with a bone graph at S1/L5. When I went to the doctor Monday, the doctor said that he could see new bone growht on the cat scan. Couldn't understand why I was still having some pain. He did say that the pain on my right side is from one of the screws that he put in is rubbing on the nerve on the right side. He said that we could remove that screw and put it in a different location. He said that it would probably be a 6 inch incision, instead of the 5 little incisions that I have now. My question is, do I have this removed now, or do I wait and have it done later? I have a hard time moving around and pain in the morning, but after that I feel pretty good. I just want to recover from this surgry before I have to think of another one. But could I be causing damage if not taking care of right away? Also should I get a second opinion? seeing how he put it in the wrong place to start with. Just really confused and don't know what the right thing would be. Has anyone else had this problem?
Thanks everyone,

Amanda L.


  • I had a similar issue: a stress fracture CAUSED by one of the screws he put in. They were going to re-operate, but then it started to heal on its own. The surgeon wisely thought it would pay to wait and see. I still, at 4 months post-op, have some issues, but I hope they will resolve.
    You need to grill your surgeon and ask him the questions you ask. My surgeon, although one of the best in New York, asked several of his colleagues their opinions--and your surgeon should do that, too. Errors happen, but he/she should put ego and doubt aside and ask his/her colleagues. If you have lost confidence in this guy, then get your own second opinion, but often, a new surgeon is very reluctant to "touch" another surgeon's "work." So grill the one you have and ask him to ask others, too.
  • I think my doctor messed up too. I had 3 mri's and a cat scan plus x-rays. No one mentioned fractures in my L5 until I woke up from surgry. Which he had said would only take 2 or 3 hours. It took over 10 hours. I also think he is the one who fractured the l5, I have all my disk from mri's and cat scan, would someone be able to tell if the fracture was there before the surgry by looking at these?
    Thanks for the advice.

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  • Not all fractures are easy to see on an image, especially if one is not suspected or expected. Sometimes they can be seen in retrospect.

    I had L5 snapped clean through and when lying in the scanner it lined up perfectly and could not be seen. Wasn't until I was in surgery and the surgeon went to set the retractor that the fracture was seen.

    In surgery on the lumbar spine, your body is positioned in a manner that it is quite possible the hardware was not touching any nerve. Now out of surgery everything has settled into place and the screw is against the nerve.

    Talking to the surgeon or another about the possibility of permanent nerve damage if delaying removal of the screw would be my priority. That's just my opinion.

    I wouldn't jump on the bandwagon to start accusing your surgeon of causing more damage or trying to hide it just so soon. Investigate it further than just a message board on the Internet.

  • After my surgry the doctor told me that he had 10 different reps. tell him that the 360 could not be done because I have 2 extra bones in my tailbone and the curve of my tailbone. I was also told by him that he wasn't happy with the placement of the screw on the right side that he had just put in. He was so proud of himself that he was going to get in contact with his publishers. Yhea I do think he messed up. But now I am the one who has to decide when and if to get it fixed.. When I was release from the hospital on a Saturday evening. Went to the drug store to get my prescriptions filled. I ended up sitting in the car for 2 1/2 hours because he wrote the prescription wrong. Had pain pills on the same script paper with other meds. In my state pain pills cannot be on the same script with other meds. Waited in the car, while my husband did all he could in the hospital to get pain meds for me. Doctor could not be reached. Ended up having the nurse get me some, to get me through to Monday. So yhea I am mad, it just seems like its one thing after another.
    The reason I went to the message board is to see if. An mri or cat scan would show fractures? Sorry if I took up your time haglandc.
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