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Wierd sensation with hardware

lynnsyllynnsy Posts: 195
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:24 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
hey ya-all,... haven't been here in quite some time. I have a question for anyone who is maybe at the same place I am, and is this normal?
I had a three level lumbar fusion L,3,4,5, 8 months ago. I'm progressing slowly, but never the less, progressing. I was fusing at 23 weeks, and have been going to PT once a week since that time. Just lately though I have been experiencing some wierd stuff.

Is it normal #1, to feel your hardware, not with my fingers, I know how deep my 6" rods and screws are, but like when I get down on all fours to do some of my PT, or like when I twist to turn over in bed? It kinda hurts at the tops of the rods, I can feel exactly where they end.

Also, just lately, I've been experiencing hip pain, deep inside. It's not to where I need to go back into my Neruo,....I'm thinking it's just due to PT or something, I hope... But at 8 months post-op, is what I'm feeling perfectly normal?

OK, now the bad part, and please no lectures, I'm 52 and know better....and absolutely know the effects with spinal fusions. I quit smoking for 6 months before during and after my surgery. I just recently started back up, (cause of spouse it's just too hard with him doing it)I was showing great fusion at 23 weeks, and am HOPING smoking isn't undoing my progress... what do you-all think?


  • I'm only a month post op, but I can feel my hardware inside, I can actually tell which screw is causing what pain, and I can feel each screw with my fingers when I touch my back. I think it depends on the person. I totally feel the hardware inside AND out.
  • I am only 12 weeks but I feel my hardware as a tightness over my low back, especially when I move. I call it a vice in my back. Now with the fusing, I asked my NS if it is possible to see fusion, then for the fusion to go backwards and be undone, and he said yes it happens sometimes. Please be careful. >:D< Sue
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  • here's mine..... god, i hope i'm not hurting it since starting back up smoking, i'm hoping it was far enough along in the fusion, and of course with being extremely careful, i'm doing incredibly well, walking, standing, sitting driving, physical therapy, not perfect, still have a long ways to go.... but much better. are either of yours hips aching, or still hurt when you twist? of course at one month i'm sure you are...

    and i kinda find it hard to believe that you can actually feel your screws and such, all that is behind many layers of tissues, extremely deep. i'd be concerned if i could litterally feel my hardware with my fingers. maybe it's just your spine or vertebrea your feeling...image
  • 10 months, but it only really bothers me when the weather is damp. I'm really thin & he used a pediatric assembly with a "low profile" but when I bend fwd, you can see the whole thing...!

    Feels like a brick w/ a banana clip around it...not a bad feeling, but I know it's "always there".. When I saw my NS last week, he said that after I;m fully fused, he could always remove it ....! But seriously there is always that option if things b/come more uncomfy.

    Re smoking: I don't know much about that, but a friend of mine who's had 2 fusions started smoking again after she was fused & has never had problems...I;m not advocating that, but she said her doc told her to stop (of course) but if she couldn't, it really wouldn't do any damage to THOSE levels, altho it can cause deterioration of discs/others levels...

    But I drink wine! So where does that leave me?! Ya gotta live your life, too! Ya gotta have SOME vices, considering what we've been thru!

    Good luck Lynnnsy! Have you seen any albino deer yet this year?

  • At your point I could only feel it if I leaned backwards really fast like on mistake. Or if I turned wrong in bed I would feel like a pinch or pop.

    As for smoking I did with my cervical in 04 and was fully fused in 6 months.
    Yeah it does slow down fusion time in some people as smoke cuts down the oxygen level going to the bone.
    But hey so many people have and fused. So that question is basically a catch 22.

    My hips were always sore, but I have arthritis in them. And a shot of cortizone helped that feeling.
    What does the dr or PT say about your hips??? Mine was sharp pinching in nature or very tender when I laid on either one.

    Hang in there
    Take care
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  • Nope, no albinos this year, but we did count 16 new fawns this year, every doe had twins it seems..... we love em to death,...they're so darn cute... Had our first big snow last week of about 8", it was beautiful!!

    My PT says the pain in my hips should go away with time, and ya, it's tender to the touch, and one is kinda numb. Then I still have the inside knee cap on my left knee up my inside of thigh a little bit, STILL numb. Someone told me it's at the S-1 level, which my surgeon did a lot of filing work there, as I had a hairline fracture there that had grown calcium over it, so he filed it down, so I was told there's probably tiny little fragments of bone in there. I'll be DARNED if I go back in there tho to have it cleaned up, I'll deal with it....

    And thanks for not jumping on me about smoking guys. I do know better.... but I was just curious if my taking it back up was creating these new pains after giving myself 6 months. I would think my fusion was doing pretty darn good by 6 months since he saw fusion at 23 weeks, and I still didn't smoke for quite a while after that...

    And it sounds like feeling my hardware with different motions is normal. Thats a lot of hardware.....
  • post op and i felt crazy cause i could swear i can feel the metal in me. also when i lay on the floor :P it feels like im laying on a wad of something under my lower back kinda like a bulge..anyways glad to know im not crazy thinking im feeling
  • I actually CAN feel the screws. I can't feel the rods, but I can feel the screws. I asked my surgeon about it and she says yes, that's what they were. You can tell.. Trust me. Lol. I don't have much tissue in my L4-L5 area... I have this weird like... I call it my second ass, it like, sticks out a bit with an extra curve on the outside of my spine, so I can without a doubt feel the screws. She said that it's okay, totally fine, and it happens sometimes. I think it depends on your anatomy.
  • What the heck are you doing lying on the floor, silly?! Haha.
  • getting comfortable for me is well.....hell i try it all bed sucks couch sucks floor definetely
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