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Has anyone had problems with a Dynesys Dynamic Stabilization device?

I had one put in at L5-S1 about 10 years ago.  Initially I thought it was great as it eliminated the back and leg pain, but within several months of having the surgery, I began having mid-back discomfort.  I wouldn't call it pain, it was more of a dull, achy, tightness in my mid-back just below the shoulder blades.  I searched for answers for years and had multiple MRI's, Xrays, blood tests, steroid injections, RF nerve ablation treatments, etc., and also tried physical therapy, chiropractic care, acupuncture, massage therapy, etc.  Some of it gave me temporary relief, but nothing lasted very long.  As the years went on I just dealt with it, but continued to try to find answers.  In 2014 a chiropractor told me that my pelvis was completed twisted and torqued out of alignment and adjusted me 3-4 times a week for about 2 months.  Initially the adjustments would hold for a day or 2, but eventually it got to the point where as soon as I got off his table, I would hear "click/snap" in what I thought was my sacrum and the whole misalignment pattern would begin again.  The muscle spasms and the pain they caused were horrible as they tried to hold my body upright and in alignment as much as possible.  I spent over a year in physical therapy, 4 days a week and chiropractic care every single day.  It cost me a small fortune but I had no other alternatives as no one could tell me what the heck was going on.  The PT's just kept telling me that I needed to continue to work on strengthening muscles, etc., but nothing ever changed, not even slightly.  Finally in 2016 I found some folks who diagnosed me as most likely having SI joint dysfunction.  The theory was that because my pelvis and SI joint had been held in a twisted/torqued position (for whatever reason) for so long, that the ligaments that are supposed to naturally hold the joint together were stretched out and could no longer do their job.  I had no other alternatives and was running out of time, patience, and money, and decided to go ahead and try SI joint fixation surgery to see if that was the problem.  I had the surgery in late 2016 and things were immediately much, much, better, but there was still some ongoing muscle dysfunction that wasn't right.  My psoas muscles, especially the right one, and my other hip flexors were still very tight (although not quite as tight as before the surgery).  I was told that it would just take time to work out all the muscle issues since things had been so screwed up for so long.  I spent the next 2 years working very hard to activate and strengthen muscles in my back and others like my glutes, but the psoas and hip flexor tightness remained.  Several months ago, after talking to a physical therapist who suggested doing femoral nerve glide exercises to see if that would help loosen things up, I began doing some stretches and exercises that put my back into a position of extension.  I started gradually and eventually worked my way up to a full "cobra" pose as the weeks went on.  Within a few weeks of beginning the exercises, all hell broke loose and the same muscle spasms and vertebral subluxations that had plagued me before, returned.  The only difference this time was that the spasms were unable to twist my SI joint out of place because it is now screwed together.  Again, over the last couple months, I have gone through the whole regimen of multiple Xrays, MRI's, injections, and doctor visits.  Everyone told me that there was no nerve impingement anywhere and they had no answers or suggestions to offer.  Finally, after things progressed to the point that they are at now, I was  able to determine that everything is originating from my L5 vertebrae which is completely unstable, exactly what the Dynesys system is supposed to stop/prevent from happening.  I have another appointment scheduled with a surgeon next week to discuss removing it and replacing it with a rigid fusion or something that will ensure that L5 remains stable.  I am also convinced at this point that things were never right with the Dynesys from the get go.  I don't know if there was something done incorrectly at the time it was put in back in 2008, or if something happened shortly thereafter that started me down the long, miserable road of problems I've had for more than a decade, but I'm thrilled to have finally identified the culprit.  None of the screws are broken and none have moved or become loose so no one has ever even mentioned it as a possible problem.  I can't help but think that perhaps something was not done properly at the time of "installation," whether it be the tensioning on the cords was not right, or something with the screws or spacers were not done right.  I did read that in every case where Dynesys devices were removed from people for whatever reason, the plastic spacers that are designed to prevent compression of the disc were crushed/deformed to one degree or another.  My guess is that the extension-based exercises I was doing a few months ago was probably the straw that broke the camel's back in terms of setting things off again.  I believe the SI joint surgery stabilized things just enough so that the Dynesys didn't create enough problems to result in the severe spasms and mal-alignments issues that I dealt with prior to the SI surgery, but the psoas and hip flexor tightness continued as my body was trying its best to stabilize L5.  This have gotten worse over the last couple months and at this point now I'm basically right back to where I was prior to the SI joint surgery.  Hopefully they can get me in quickly to remove this thing and replace it with something else because life is absolutely miserable right now. 

Any one with similar issues with Dynesys?  I know there have been broken/loosened screws out there, but that can happen with any fusion or stabilization device and the rate that it happens with Dynesys is about on par with other devices.   

An interesting side note is that when I told the surgeon who did my SI surgery back in 2016 about my Dynesys hardware at L5-S1, he commented that he absolutely did not like those things and had removed a number of them from patients of his.  He said he felt as though the whole concept was flawed as the device still allows movement, but is supposedly designed to stabilize things.  He said it didn't make any sense to him and I now see his logic.  Unfortunately neither one of us had any idea at the time that the Dynesys implant was the root cause of all my problems. 



  • skilletsskillet Cincinnati, OHPosts: 54

    Disregard my previous post. I found out that the problem is actually with my L5 vertebrae slipping on my L4 vertebrae, not L5 slipping on S1 where the Dynesys is.

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