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borken screw post spinal fusion surgery

spinalhate7sspinalhate7 Posts: 5
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:50 AM in Chronic Pain
i had spianl fusion surgery a litle over a year ago,3 mos post surgery,my surgeon noticed broken titanium screw in on of my vertibrae? this is in my lumbar l3-5 area of spine by te way.i noticed it is rare but not un common for broken screws but usually from what i have read screws break from people falling while bone still fusing,i di not fall and b4 surgery mri showed severe collappsed spine!my spine did this all on its own,i have not had a any bad falls,car accidebts etc etc.just excrutioating sciatic and lower back pain for years and a year prior to spine surgery,i had righr hip replacement due to osteo-necrosis rotting my hip bones due to lack of blod supply.?6 mos prior to hip surgery,went to urgent ccare after a week of horrible pain in groin.xray showed inch fracture in pelvis bone? now i have had hip surgery,spinal surgery,need left hip relaced now xrays show cup of hip rotting.dr1s after -3 yrs all were like,we dont know why this is happening,lets just make lots of money and operate.my fiancee,who ironically works at a med clinic as a billing ins terminology spialist/nunow nurses aid atenting school become rn.she one day says,i think the osteo-necrosis is spreading,ur dr1s family,spine surgeon etc she asked have now ordered a bone density test?i said whats that and i mentioned to dr`s and they said oh yes,thismust be done err!!!! now i recently was layed off job (great economy here in CALIFORNIA)so I now have no insurance.eeek!help!! anyhow.i am taking pain meds and have to have another hip surgery,another spinal surgery to fix broken screw.cannot afford to pay cash forbone density to know if OSTEO-NECROSIS SPREADING,which i agree w/finacee it is spreading or i have a major classic case of OSTEOPEROSIS?
MY QUESTION TO ANYONE WHO KNOWS,HOW BAD WILL THE BROKN SCREW SPINE SURGERY BE? I WAS SCARED DEATH OF 1ST SPINE SSURGERY.IS IT DANGEROUS.ANY FEEBACK WOULD BE AESOME.PEACE
ME....
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Comments

  • spinalhate7 said:
    i had spianl fusion surgery a litle over a year ago,3 mos post surgery,my surgeon noticed broken titanium screw in on of my vertibrae? this is in my lumbar l3-5 area of spine by te way.i noticed it is rare but not un common for broken screws but usually from what i have read screws break from people falling while bone still fusing,i di not fall and b4 surgery mri showed severe collappsed spine!my spine did this all on its own,i have not had a any bad falls,car accidebts etc etc.just excrutioating sciatic and lower back pain for years and a year prior to spine surgery,i had righr hip replacement due to osteo-necrosis rotting my hip bones due to lack of blod supply.?6 mos prior to hip surgery,went to urgent ccare after a week of horrible pain in groin.xray showed inch fracture in pelvis bone? now i have had hip surgery,spinal surgery,need left hip relaced now xrays show cup of hip rotting.dr1s after -3 yrs all were like,we dont know why this is happening,lets just make lots of money and operate.my fiancee,who ironically works at a med clinic as a billing ins terminology spialist/nunow nurses aid atenting school become rn.she one day says,i think the osteo-necrosis is spreading,ur dr1s family,spine surgeon etc she asked have now ordered a bone density test?i said whats that and i mentioned to dr`s and they said oh yes,thismust be done err!!!! now i recently was layed off job (great economy here in CALIFORNIA)so I now have no insurance.eeek!help!! anyhow.i am taking pain meds and have to have another hip surgery,another spinal surgery to fix broken screw.cannot afford to pay cash forbone density to know if OSTEO-NECROSIS SPREADING,which i agree w/finacee it is spreading or i have a major classic case of OSTEOPEROSIS?
    MY QUESTION TO ANYONE WHO KNOWS,HOW BAD WILL THE BROKN SCREW SPINE SURGERY BE? I WAS SCARED DEATH OF 1ST SPINE SSURGERY.IS IT DANGEROUS.ANY FEEBACK WOULD BE AESOME.PEACE
    ME....
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,111
    I had a shattered and a broken screw in my cervical area. The broken screw was no problem and my surgeon saw no reason to remove it. The shattered screw was the problem. It took my surgeon 4 hrs to remove the shattered pieces from my spinal cord. The broken screw that was embedded into the bone was left in although he did try to remove it, unable to remove it. So now when you see a MRI of my neck you can see the broken screw just sitting there. I will not lie about the surgery being easy but you have to remember he did other procedures along with removing the screw. I had a corpectomy and fusion, removal of old plate. it was a big surgery and took some time to recover. I like you have never had any major trauma or accident to cause this to happen. As for your bone scan, get it done at a hospital and apply for HCAP. Since you have no income this test will be done at zero cost or a greatly reduced amount. Upon registering for the test ask about the HCAP program and they will send you forms to fill out. Return them as soon as possible and you will be notified of the discount or waived cost of the test. During my time of unemployment I needed a MRI and had no insurance. I collected unemployment but as we both know that does not go far enough to pay the bills. My cost of the MRI was zero. Good luck and I would schedule the test.
    Susan
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  • The most common cause of osteonecrosis is steroids (not uncommonly use by some docs post-op to reduce pain from inflammation). Osteonecrosis can happen at relatively low doses of steroids. Also, bisphosphonates (drugs to help osteoporosis) can actually cause osteonecrosis...but "lack of blood supply" - how? Was a vessel tied off in surgery? Compression of a blood vessel by something that shouldn't be there? I would investigate this a little further - maybe with a doc that specializes in bone metabolism (are you near any major university or teaching centers?) Did you have a bone scan (different from a bone density) to make sure there aren't bad cells in your marrow? Any issues with calcium levels? I don't want to freak you out - but what your describing isn't "normal" by any means. I know your already really stressed and I don't want to upset you any more, but a spine collapsing, screws not holding and rampant osteonecrosis doesn't sound like a straightforward issue - has anyone looked at your bone marrow? Sounds like it might be more of an internal medicine issue than a "surgeons" issue....
    Usually broken screws means fusion didn't happen - one surgeon actually don't me when I asked him what happens if I don't fuse - his reply was "your hardware will move and your screws will break". I have also heard of screws breaking after fusion, and ending up in a place that wasn't harmful...then again I've heard them landing on nerve roots and causing major damage.
  • I had spinal fusion in Oct 2008 and I just found out that the screws in my back has broken. I have been in a lot of pain for over six months. Dr. is sending for a CT scan not sure what this will show but I am don't want to have to go through another surgery. I am tired of pain. I don't know how long it takes for the fusion to become solid. I am also 100 pounds over weight which is also another problem for my doctor.
  • I had just hade my second back surgery, and there was a broken screw. Me, or the doctor did not know this until after surgery. I was in alot of pain for 22 months, and hade taken alot of pain medicine and still hade pain. I am sorry to say, but when I woke up there was so much pain. The crazy thing is I never fallen, or was in a bad car crash. This is what I heard breaks the screw. Let me tell you that this screw hade to break from just being a bad screw, cause I never fail, or was in a car crash.My doctor sent the screw to be tested, so I will know in do time. Its been two months since the surgery, and I can say some of the pain is gone, but I still have alot of stiffness, and I still need my pain medicine. Good luck to U all!
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