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Anyone w Broken Screws Cervical ACDF?

allicat2000aallicat2000 Posts: 26
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:19 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
i have broken screws at c5 post acdf. happened to find them 1 year after acdf, was having neck pain so i took an xray( i happen to be an xray tech so when we hurt we take our own xrays, ct, mri....etc not always a good idea) i found the broken screws which ns has never seen them broken in the middle of the bone like mine. he says that it is fine as long as the screws are not backing out. the xray however turned into a ct ordered by my my ns. i am now 4 weeks post op foraminotomy and still am having arm pain and numbness in my thumb.

broken screws c5


  • I just let out a big gasp when I saw your X-ray. At first I didn't see the break. Is this kind of thing common? Yikes. What do your docs say? ---Mazy
  • He says it is fine but that it was caused from movement and asked if I been doing cartwheels!! :)
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  • That is amazing that the screw broke like that. My guess is the screw had a defect in it but then i'm not the doc. Where they able to get the screw out using the foraminotomy. I had a three level after two previous surgeries and due to the nerve damage never got back that arm completely. I do like the idea of taking your own films good thing you were able to do that. Keep us posted on your recovery.
  • Egads!!

    And this is titanium isn't it? How in the world does bone break titanium???
  • I don't understand how that can happen. Have you had x-rays prior to that where the screw was not broken? Could the pre-drilled hole in the vertebra have been too large and allowed movement? I don't understand how it could break there without causing additional damage in the vertebrae itself. What kind of stress does it take to break titanium?

    Yeah, yeah...too many questions...I'm just absolutely amazed!

    However, like the doc says, at lease the screw hasn't backed out. That would be bad. I can't see how that kind of broken screw would cause pain, so I'm wondering if the pain is from a damaged/cracked vertebrae putting pressure on the nerve root. Do you have an x-ray from the front or back angle?
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  • This is the only view that shows the break. I had previous xray with no break the break seemed to have happened about one year post op. NS says the head is like the heaviest thing there is to carry around and that some sort of movement caused this. I do not think my fusion healed very good (I know that as I heard NS talking to his PA in the hall while looking at my CT) The pinched nerve just comes with degenerative changes really nothing to do with fusion...
  • I had the same surgery and my screw broke also. I felt it when it broke. I was at work and attempting to lift a door on a truck that was stuck. It was very painful. I have had problems with them recognizing that it broke at this time as the radiologist missed it in the ER and 4 other doctors missed it also. Both my fusions broke loose also. Your Doctor ask if you were doing cartwheels and mine says there is no way I could have broke it by lifting. This infuriates me as I have not been able to work for somewhat 2 years trying to get them to recognize this. The doctors said it was a pulled muscle for 7 months then in an examination at another hospital they found it. I suffered a mild herniation and thecal sac impingement, inclusive of the fusions non-union. You had no idea when it broke?
  • MetalneckMetalneck The Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,778
    Manufacturer Lawsuit - You just won the lottery! Congrads!!

  • MetalneckMetalneck The Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,778
    $1 your implant and screws are Depuy. (Manufacturer involved in hip implant fracture lawsuits).

  • MetalneckMetalneck The Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,778
    appears that you have two screws on each level ... did they both break?

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