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Feeling hardware after thoracic spinal fusion

Hello!  Four weeks ago I underwent a thoracic spinal fusion of T2-T11 after multiple compression fractures due to dx of premenopausal osteoporosis (I am 32).

Overall, recovery has been rough, but I'm getting better each day!  I haven't really paid much attention to my back in terms of looking at it in the mirror or feeling it, however, today after taking a shower, I looked at my back in the mirror and noticed a "bump" to the left of my incision. I ran my hand across it and it almost feels like the end of the rod? I'm not sure though and I don't know if it's been that way all along and I just haven't noticed.

i already had my first pre-op appt two weeks ago and don't go back to the doctor for two more weeks.

Anyone have experience with this?!


  • gfishggfish Pittsburgh PAPosts: 239
    Hi. I had a T4-T10. If you had just a posterior fusion, My nero told me that since I am not heavy in weight. That I would feel the hardware. There is not much fat that covers the spine? You will always see or feel the lumps, as he also said with the lumps. They will not go away.  I to have two lumps on each side of the fusion. People have gave me a light massage, And said they can feel the hardware. I cant get my hand up that high to feel it. Your whole  thoracic spin is just about fused. Mine was done 1 1/2 years ago. And it still feels like the it was never done. But my story is different from most. He probably will do a CT scan or xray  on your next appointment to see if the hardware id still in place and didn't move.  If something did, I thing you would be in greater pain. Like to here your story, as why you had this. There are not many here that had thoracic fusion. Hope its nothing. 
    Greg fisher
  • AnnaKayeAAnnaKaye West VirginiaPosts: 3
    Hi gfish!  Thanks for your response.  It was just a posterior fusion.  I'm not noticing any pain in that area, so I'm hoping that nothing is out of place.  I think that if I were, it would hurt like you said.  So I'm hoping for the best! :)

    When I was 24, after I had my first son, I lifted him up out at the bathtub when he was 3 months old and suffered a compression fx at T8-T9 and subsequently was dx with premenopausal osteoporosis,  The doctors were so shocked that I had osteo that they were more focused on the cause of that than treating the actual  fractures, so eventually they healed on their own.  They never found a cause for my osteoporosis other than slightly low Vitamin D levels and I was on Forteo for some time.  I stopped the medicine when I was trying to get pregnant with my second son and didn't have any other problems with my osteoporosis until last month (8 years after my first fx).  I was wearing cheap flip flops and was running down our wet deck steps, fell and fx my T6 vertebrae.  I was braced for 11 days and when I went to my appointment with the surgeon, my x-rays showed that the fractured vertebrae has compressed 18 degrees in 11 days.  So I was schedule for surgery the next day.  Due to the osteoporosis, a lot of my vertebrae are wedged so they went ahead and fused T2-T11.  I wasn't really prepared for how much pain I would be in after the surgery. 

    Do you remember having a lot of pain in your shoulder blades?  At my follow-up I asked about it and they said that pain in that area is totally normal as those muscles were cut in half.

    Also, did you feel really stiff afterwards?  It literally feels like I have two rods in my back - which of course I do, but I can almost feel them when I walk.  I hope I get used to that!

    Thanks again!  If you don't mind, will you share your story?
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  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 971


    Are you back to taking Vitamin D and the Forteo??  This is important for your osteo and your fusion.  I also have osteo (not as bad as yours) and take a daily Vitamin D supplement and weekly I take Alendronate.

    Harry - 65 year old male...
    PLIF L4-L5-S1 due to disc degeneration... May 23, 2013
    PLIF L5-S1 due to failed fusion and broken screw... Jan 19, 2015
    Microdiscectomy, decompression L3-L4 due to herniated disc... Jan 19, 2015
  • AnnaKayeAAnnaKaye West VirginiaPosts: 3
    Yes and no.. I am back on Vitamin D (5,000 iut a day) but not yet back on the Forteo. I go back to the Rheumotologist but I don't see her until August. :(
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    Hello AnnaKaye !
    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click on link for helpful information!
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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  • Nicholas_IINNicholas_II CroatiaPosts: 66
    edited 06/26/2016 - 9:46 PM
    I feel the hardware too, no worries. ;) Sometimes I feel it like you, just did not touch it. Like something is stabbing my muscle from inside. But mostly it is when I lie in the bed its like I am lying on the train track. I suppose its the matter of getting used.
    Kristijan (33)

    St. post vertebrosynthesis transpedicularis Th11-Th12-L1-L2 sec Expidium, Stabilization (10.5.2016.)
    Scoliosis THL Gravis (as of age od 13)
    Protrusio disci L3/L4
    Radiculopathia C6C7 bill, C8Th1 dec, L3L4 i L5S1 bill
    Hemangioma Th8
    Sy CC et CB
    Sy thoracale
    Sy LS chr

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