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BROKEN TRITIUM ROD

Went to see my Surgeon who told me I had broke my rod. The office girl then Scheduled the surgery on a day I wasn't happy with in a hospital I just couldn't go to and although I tried to tell her she just didn't listen and continued so I thought well I will just go home and think it over. Weeks later I called and cancelled. So now my Surgeon is BOOKED. They refereed me to someone who then told me my Rod is broken in 2 different places and happened at two different times. But that my Back was fused and I was FINE AND I DIDN'T NEED ANY SURGERY. BECAUSE MY BACK WAS FUSED. YET MY IST SURGEON SAID THAT THERE IS SO MUCH STRESS ON MY OTHER ROD NOW IT CAN BREAK AT ANY TIME. ANY ADVICE OR DISCUSSION I WILL GLADLY ACCEPT.  THANKS IN ADVANCE ❣

     Brenda

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Comments

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    Anytime I have two doctors not agree I get a third opinion.

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    Chip 

    Veritas Health Forum Moderator

  • Hi Brenda:

    I'm sorry to hear about this frustrating situation and the difficult communications with your surgeon's office.

    I broke one rod about 10 months after surgery (didn't know although it hurt) and then the other did follow suit at 13 months post op. The only way they could actually determine whether the fusion took was by doing a bone scan after injecting a radioactive material into my system. The non fused area showed as a darker color on the image. This is not possible to see on an xray.  Did they check this for you? Otherwise I am not certain anyone would know if you were fused.  I was also advised that I should do nothing unless I was in pain, which I was. If you like your original surgeon, maybe you could ask them if the bone density scan is a possibility. Try not to worry, but if any pain starts or gets worse, then you need to get the surgery sooner rather than later. By the time I had my revision surgery, I had a quite bit of nerve pain in my legs and feet and I'm still dealing with that now. Once my surgeon heard about the type of pain, he scheduled an emergency surgery. Hope this helps in some way.

    Noreen

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  • Hi Brenda,  I too am sorry for what you are experiencing.  I had a fusion L-5 / S-1 seven years ago and I thought it was fused until just two months ago when I had a Myleogram.  Now I found out that the fusion did not fuse and one of the screws is completely into my disc not the vertebrae.  For the longest time, I could not figure out why I had so much pain.  A Myleogram tells a lot of what is going on from inside the spine.  I do agree with Noreen and her observations.

  • Noreen,

    How did your surgeon do your revision surgery from your broken rods.  Did the surgeon take out all your hardware including screws, etc and replace everything?  I am still trying to decide whether to get the revision surgery as I broke a rod at the L3-L4 area.  I have nerve pain down my legs, and some low back pain.  My fusion is from T10 S1.  Appreciate any help you could give. Thanks

    Ruthie

  • I found a doctor who specializes in revision surgeries from failed previous back surgeries.  He will approach the surgery I have scheduled for July 20 and 21 in two days.  The first day he will go in through the side between the last rib and top of the iliac crest to insert inter body devices between the L3 and L4 where my hardware broke.  Then on day two he will go in through my back with just 4 small incisions to repair the broken rod by attaching an addition rod to the broken one and then decompress areas that were not done in the previous surgery to decrease my pain.  I am very happy that I found him as he has studied this minimally invasive surgery at Duke University Hospital.  He does these types of surgeries that I am having in 2 days as to not have me under anesthesia for so long at one time.  I will let you know how I do after my surgery.  I hope this has helped you Noreen.

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  • Ruthie: First, let me apologize for not responding sooner. I never saw the post from April. I was fairly anxious at the beginning of sheltering in place!! I’m glad you found someone who has a good amount of experience with the revision surgeries. It sounds like he is planning on a very different solution from my surgeon. He actually put two larger rods on either side of the break on the left side. He may have used the term ‘domino’. So the original rod has not been touched. Still has the break visible on xrays with two additional rods (one on either side) that straddle the break. These rods are somehow tied into the main rod a few inches above and below the break. On the right side, he removed the pelvic fixation and the lower part of the rod (from slightly above the break). He then connected a slightly thicker rod to the original. So that side is one long rod without the screws into the pelvic bone. He was planning on adding that back in but I was bleeding too much so he had to close up. I mean the whole thing is weird and quite monstrous looking!!

    I may have mentioned before, that I still have nerve pain in my lower leg and foot, but it has improved in the 1.5 yrs since the revision. For me, the second surgery was harder to handle physically and the recovery has taken forever. 

    I hope that since yours will be minimally invasive (on the second day at least) you will have great luck and recover quickly!!

    I wish you all the best and will be thinking of you 7/20-7/21. 

    Noreen

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