Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

The main site has all the formal medical articles and videos for you to research on.

Fusion L5 S1 : misplaced pedicle screw L5?

idleideeiidleidee Posts: 12
edited 07/26/2014 - 12:20 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi Can I ad more pics?

I uploaded it as an avatar now.

Surgeon says all is oke, but? what i see on CT I don't like at all. and I also keep having internal pains on that side going a bit in my leg. Had my surgery fusion laminectomy on 2 th june.

I am doing well, just still lots of pain, mainly on the side of that strange screw.

Anybody can comment?



  • LizLiz Posts: 8,835

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • idleideeiidleidee Posts: 12
    edited 07/26/2014 - 12:15 PM
    So .. My surgeon says its oké.. But I am doubting when I see this. Because the screw is not in the corpus vertebrae. The bad screw is on L5 and the left side of this CT scan. ( which is the right side of my body) I had an L5 S1 laminectomy and fusion. They also enlarged the foramen L4 to prevent compresion there in the future. Further more the CT scan showed some bonegrowth alreday so that was positive.
    I am concerned and don't get a lot of answers. Is it possible the screw can hurt something internal? A vessel, a nerve, a muscle, etc.. Anyone any experience with this.
    I still do have a lot of pain inside my pelvic area, both right and left side. I have no clue what "normal post op pain" means. Have had pain since 5 years. Since I can walk again now, although in pain, and before i couldn't i think maybe it is oké? But the ongoing pain and seeinig this CT does concern me a bit.





  • advertisement
  • They def. look "screwed" up to me! Mine look straight in when seen in radiograph. What does the radiologist report say about it?
  • More then 1 year postop.. Still in so much pain and no answers... Anybody any experience with misplaced screws. neuro says it is oké.. My pelvis is in a twist and have groin and legpain, buttock, posterior pain, ... :-(
  • 1 year and 4 months later now.. The hospital, neurosurgeon and rehab specialist, where i had the surgery has left me with: go to a paincentre in your own area.. Tehy didn't even look at my scans anymore.. Not a word about a badly placed screw.. They just lied about it, or withheld any info about it. I was beyond comprehension... kind of ready to jump in the canal.

    I did go to a paincentre near my place, but there they said: Well we need to find the cause/region of your pain first before we can start any treatement. So they did bone scan.. Lights up all over. Pseudoartrosis, non union. Possible cause: misplaced screw, uneven pressure, bad bone growth,.. Proposal: New surgery. First remove screws via the back. Turn me around and remove 'to small' cage and still present disc material via the front. Place bigger cage. After that, 2 weeks evealuation to see if they will need to place the screws back. If so, another surgery is needed shortly after..

    In one way .. finally recognition that something is wrong.. although they didn't mention directely.. These specialist protect eachother. I can understand that a bit, but they have left me that long in such pain and refused to tell me why.. My faith has been crashed a big deal..

    Since that last visit i didn't recover mentally.. I got blasted by a big hammer and still lay down since..
    I do have ddd neck and stenosis to.. Have a heriditary muscle disease (HNA).. loss of force in arms, torso I am totally alone,.. my parents 85 and 79 mother severly ill, mentally and phisically... living 150 km away... refuse to be practical and just make life even harder..

    I don't know wether it is still worth it to try this newly proposed surgery.. I will deteriorate anyhow neck, low back and HNA..
    I have no mental force left to battle.. even if i would agree to this surgery.. No garantees whatsoever he said.. i don't think i will bounce back from it and find any strenght to recover.

    All has become very empty.. The constant pain for this many years now...The problems phisically, financially, socially, mentally..
    What lies ahead seems to me like only more sorrow and pain.. difficulty with parents who make my life even more difficult with their lack of practicallity..

    If i leave it like now, i will get worse anyhow..
    If I do it, i might miss out on some valuable last months, weeks, years? If things go terribly wrong. One thing the surgeon agreed with: "It can always get worse, always"
    I have no other family or caretakers.. What would happen if i can't take care of myself anymore? I am 42, nowhere to go..
    I am not even scared anymore.. just so sad.. sad.. in pain, and so sad.. I see no hope, and i cannot go another 7 years like i did already..

    What do i need to do... I have no clue, nor feeling left but utter sadness..

  • advertisement
  • It looks to me as if you are maybe a bit rotated on scan, also...if you look at some of the screws used by surgeons they don't go in exactly as you might expect them.

    You might look into both counseling to improve your mood and a different surgeon if you can, since you clearly do not trust the one you have to take care.
    Best wishes. I know that chronic pain can wear one out.
  • NickManNNickMan Posts: 4
    edited 01/22/2016 - 11:22 PM
    IDLEIDEE: That screw should NOT be like that, and could very well be causing your pain and suffering. I'm not sure what level that is, but NERVES RUN EXACTLY WHERE THAT SCREW WENT OUT OF THE VERTEBRAE. I had an SI Joint fusion and exactly the same boat as you: a screw went in at the wrong angle, crushing my L5 nerve and the surgeon fought me and refused to even order imaging. You ARE RIGHT and it is hard as hell to get another surgeon to go in and correct someone's mistake but go to every dr you can--leave your primary if he/she won't refer you--and keep going with that image until someone does--you may have to go outside your area or state because they all review each other, so they don't criticize each other. You are absolutely right about how self-protecting the system has made them all--but this is your LIFE being taken away. Check out [edit] and learn the anatomy of axial images (MRIs and CTs) and where nerves are etc. That Dr will even review images for a fee. Those surgeons hurt you and aren't doing everything they can to fix it. Shameful. I can't believe we're going through this--but you will be a survivor (of a nightmare I know too well).
  • CherylCCCherylC Posts: 199
    edited 01/23/2016 - 12:11 AM
    I had a fusion at L4/5 in 2011 and came out of the surgery with a left foot drop. The pedicel screw at L5 on the left looks like your misplaced screw. The cage also slipped through to the front. In 2012 NS attempted to remove the cage through the front and replace it but there was too much scar tissue involved (caused by the cage sticking out the front of my spine) and vascular surgeon couldn't clear a path that allowed replacement. Upshot - old cage removed, no replacement. NS did manage to fuse the level below though and I now have a good fusion at L5/S1. 3 1/2 years later there is a union of sorts at L4/5 but not strong enough to go in and remove the offending screw.

    Is it causing my ongoing left hand spine pain and foot drop? I don't know ... Probably. Can it be fixed? Possibly not. Do I want to have any more surgeries? Not at this point. Instead - I work with my pain management specialist to get the pain to a manageable place.

    I went through a period of despondency - I had lost so much and could not see a way out. It was hard to get through it but I think I am in a much better place now. I understand my pain better now. I don't need to know the cause, I just need to know how to live with it.

    I take each day as it comes. Some are good, some not so much. I understand that everything has a price and the currency is pain and the trade off is drugs. I make consequence decisions every day. Some things I know I'm going to pay big time (eg: doing a gig with my band, playing with my beautiful grand daughters etc) but the cost is worth it for the joy it brings. Some things are not worth it so I try to avoid them if possible.

    There is nothing I can do to change my world but there is a lot I can do to change how I deal with it. It's a daily battle - some days I win and some days I loose ... But I'm still here.

    Talk to your new doctors. Consider the course of action they are recommending. There is a cost (pain, mobility, scar tissue complications etc) but you must weigh that against the outcome and make a decision for yourself whether the benefits outweigh the risks.

    Try to get into a pain management program that focusses on how to live with pain - there is so much to learn that can help improve your quality of life. Look for things that you can do that bring you joy and try to get more of those in your life. It's amazing how much your life improves when you can shift your focus from the negatives (of which there are plenty) to the positives.

    It's a journey and there is a light at the end. In my case - there will always be pain but that pain is eased by joy and wonder and beautiful things. I could have stayed on the dark side but I made a conscious choice to move towards the light.

    Not sure if you will find my story helpful but I hope you find something in it for you. Don't give up.
  • LeeLeeMccDeeLLeeLeeMccDee Boston MAPosts: 171
    Idleidee,   Just came across your post.  I was wondering how you are doing and what you have decided to do?
Sign In or Register to comment.