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Plastic Rods used in spinal fusion instead of Titanium

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:19 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had spinal fusion (L5-S1) February 4th 2008. I am still in a lot of pain and the Dr. refuses to send me to PT or other specialist (i.e. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation). The surgeon told me he would be using the traditional titanium rods and I didn’t find out I had plastic rods until my first X-Ray 6 weeks post-op. The surgeon blows me off when I ask for help about my pain. Please let me know if you have any experience with this. Thanks.


  • Ive never heard of plastic rods before. You'd think he'd choose titanium since it'd be stronger.
    With you still being in pain I'd go to someone else for a second opinion. It isnt like a surgeon to just blow a person off like that.
    I hope you feel better soon.

    Christina :)
  • The only time I've heard of plastic rods is in the Dynesys system which I've got in my back. But that's not a traditional fusion, it's a dynamic stabilisation device. I've heard that surgeons will describe this as a fusion in order to get insurance companies to pay for it, maybe that's what's happened?

    You do need to try and get some decent post-op advice though. If you've had a traditional fusion a lot of surgeons won't allow physio for at least 3 months afterwards, sometimes longer. Maybe that's why he won't refer you.

    I really wish I could help you more, but I hope you can manage to get your pain under control and get some answers about what exactly he did during your surgery. Take care, Spicey
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  • I think Spicey has the right idea. get a surgery report. If the doctor is reluctant, call the hospital where it was done and request it. (you may have to pay some copying fee, but it is worth it). Also, if you are not satisfied with your surgeon, talk to your PCP and get advise. If necessary go visit another specialist, although that is a bit iffy at this point, as you are still considered to be the surgeon's patient. PT is probably too early, but if you are in a lot of pain, maybe you need to see a Pain Specialist.

    Good luck, hope you get rid of the pain soon.

    Kin ;) :) ;) :)
  • I’ve been doing some research. Rods are Legacy PEEK instrumentation designed for the CD Horizon Legacy system (for minimally invasive surgery). They are very new and the manufacturer website does not indicate that they are made for this application. I have an appointment with a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation specialist next month, maybe he can shed some light. Surgeon will not send me to anyone else (pain specialist, PT, etc.). Made above appt myself. Thanks for the input and kind words!
  • ...with your appointment next month. I hope you get your answers!
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