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Broken titanium rod on spine

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  • I recently had a Myelogram, which is where they inject some dye into your spinal canal and take a bunch of x-rays to diagram the blood flow through your spinal cord. They discovered that one of my rods was not only broken, but that the broken ends were separated with about an inch between them.
    I uploaded my x-ray as my profile pic, but you may or may not be able to see it.
  • 2009 had two titatium rods in middle part of back. rods broke in 2011. This is the part of back that i have limited movements. I also have two rods in lower back since 2004 and no problems and can touch my ankles.Dr. ask me what was i doing, isaid just walking
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  • Titanium can definitely break. I had a pedicle screw break from a L3-L5 fusion that I had done in May '10. I just had it revised in October. When they opened me up, I guess the screw had broken off into my bone and they had to dig a looong time to get it out (surgeon's words). Before I had the revision I had been experiencing more pain in my back plus additional tingling and numbness going down my legs. Part of the screw was actually infringing on one of my nerves, causing it to fire off every time the surgeons went near it. The numbness and tingling isn't as bad anymore. The pain is still there, but that's because I'm relatively new out of surgery
  • Oh yes, rods can break. It is due to a phenomenon called metal fatigue. Every time you bend a piece of metal, no matter how far, it gets a little bit weaker. A good example of metal fatigue is when you repeatedly bend the tab on an aluminum can back and forth. Eventually, it breaks off.

    Both of the stainless steel rods in my back broke because my spine never fused. One of the broken ends had actually drifted into my spinal canal. I had the rods removed three weeks ago and replaced with the "legacy" hardware.

    For the last dozen years, I have suffered from chronic back pain and ate up to 4 lortabs a day. Before I had surgery, I could not even imagine what life was like without pain. In my lifetime, I have eaten approximately 12,000 pain pills.

    I am proud to say that I have not taken a single pain pill in the last 5 days. I cannot believe how much better life is now that I am no longer in pain.
  • oh wow JS!! wonderful that you are doing so well !!! :)

    was the pain from the broken rods?
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
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  • 1997 motorcycle accident left me with herniated disks to C6-7, then to lumbar area down to sacrum. Torn sacro-illiac joint
    2001 Cervical spine surgery.
    2007 Ruptured herniated disks from L3 to S1. 1st surgery in April, which collapsed within 3 days of being home. 2nd surgery on Memorial day weekend same year. Rods, nuts, bolts, screws collapsed less than a month later & I was refused service by orthopedic surgeon.
    I went back to work walking around hospitals teaching in severe pain without pain meds. I had them, I didn't work on them.
    Reinsured in 2009, diagnosed Oct 2009 with collapsed rods, nuts & screw attached to spinal nerve. I continued to work until I no longer could & then had surgery July 1, 2010. Physician said the last surgeon had no idea what he was doing as the titanium was dangling and the one screw attached itself to the nerve & it was impossible to remove the screw for fear of paralyzing me.

    It took me almost a year to walk again without a cane. I still have nerve damage which causes severe pain at times from my vagina down to both feet.

    This last surgery I had titanium rods placed to support my lumbar spine, down to my sacrum with titanium screw still in place on nerve. Titanium rods from pelvic bone to pelvic bone to support the torn sacro-illiac joint.

    I am unable to stand in one place for a long time, sit straight up, walk long distances or lie down without pain. My pain level is the least at a 7, most times a 10. But I'm a survivor.

    How I relieve pain: Do not laugh ok laugh......

    I am a biker, motorcycles got me in this mess, and they relieve my tension, pain & stress. I still ride even in excruciating pain, not because it's my only transportation, but it's because I still can ride it. I ride to forget the pain.

    I meditate as well. I just focus on something & try to relax.
    I take very hot showers to soothe the pain.
    I wrap myself at bedtime in an electric blanket to sleep. I have a Sealy blanket that heats up only when touching the body, so it keeps my whole body warm & relaxes the pain.
    Here in CA we have medical MJ & I made a tincture to put under my tongue to work right away. It relieves the pain quickly.

    I have asked my physician who did the 2nd surgery who the manufacturer of the equipment that collapsed causing the damage & they refuse to respond. And no lawyers would take this as a lawsuit.

    A lawsuit won't get rid of the pain, but the last surgery made it possible for me to walk, ride, live a decent life, but unable to work again. But am not really complaining because I am still alive.

    I never settled for the pain & kept hounding physicians until the problem was fixed. All titanium is still in place supporting my spinal column. I was never promised any miracles or to be pain free again. I WAS promised a stable spinal column & that's what I now have. I can handle that.
  • charzyccharzy Posts: 1
    edited 11/09/2013 - 11:18 AM
    Anonymous said:
    Hi,
    I had spinal surgery 3 years ago. Two titanium rods and 12 screws. I have been experience pain now for 6 months and just had it checked. I was told that a nut was off and the rod had broken and allowed the disk to deteriorate. Has anyone ever had a broken rod that has caused problems.
    I was told that the rod may have broken because of movement.
    Seems wrong for that to happen.
    Help.
    I recently went to the Dr.Halloween to be exact! I have had 6 Back Surgeries and have 4 Titanium Rods in My Spine two 22 inch, one 20 inch
    one 16 inch 30 two inch screws and 10 brackets and two 3 inch extenders.My Pain has been off The Hook!! Tests show that I Have a Loose Screw
    . My Titanium Rods have Broke 4 Times. It is Shoddy Workmanship by the Company, The Manufacturer who made these! I am sick of it Something
    needs done and now I have to go under the knife a 7th time I am not Happy and I'm scared to Death!! I need Help in Finding an Attorney. that handles
    pro bono cases! read my story I wasn't doing anything this last time but putting make-up on! the time before that I was Reaching for something and My Rods Blew at my waist. Just doesn't seem right!! I wish They could just take it all out! but that isn't going to happen! but this screw could cause sepsis and i could possibly have to have everything taken out so I guess I'm going under the Knife for the 7th time! I wish You the Best of Luck!!
    GBY, Char



    charla j rich
  • Hey :)

    2 years ago my horse fell on top of me and I fractured my L1 L2 L4 and shattered my L3 my surgeon used two titanium rods and screws to fix it.
    The day after surgery I was walking and feeling a lot of relief, I stopped taking any pain killers as soon as I got home from hospital and I was only in there for 11 days, 2 months later I was back on a horse and riding every day.
    Ever since my operation I feel no pain at all and am incredibly flexible ( can touch hands flat on the floor without stretching and can do most yoga moves)
    Since my last check up the surgeon said that he would like to take it out, I would love to get some opinions, I feel like I don't need it in anymore, but if there are risks I would love to know of other people's experiences with the removal of their titanium rods :)
    Thanks Nikki
    Nikki scott
  • rthibourrrthibour Posts: 1
    edited 02/13/2015 - 9:41 PM
    in 2007 i fell and yes i broke the titanium rod in my lower back. for two years mri's and cat scan did not find it. it wasn't till my doctor put me into a fetal position to injected me w/ some pain meds into my spine. his reaction was oh, no wonder your in so much pain the pin in your back is broken. he injected me and scheduled me for another surgery. they removed as much of the pin as possible and fused my back.
    i understand from the show the doctors there was a recall on some pin. don't know which ones. apparently they sold none medical pins $69.00 pin for medical surgery pins $13,000. something like that.

    *******

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  • I had my second fusion at L4-5 in 2005 and found out yesterday that the rods are broken in have on both sides. Not sure what they are gonna do yet. Does anyone know if there were faulty rods back then?
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