loose screws after spinal fusion
Heidi

Ripon, WI

#124 Sep 17, 2013
Mike wrote:
<quoted text>
Heidi,I also have had to have corrective surgery for loose hardware. I did research for several months and have even consulted with several attorneys. You probably signed a consent form with your doctor that stated that was one of the side affects and believe me there are thousands of people out there that have the same problem. This hardware is not even approved yet by the FDA. When you have your next surgery use must do several things that are critical. Always wear your brace when not lying down. Prepare to spend 6 weeks of doing nothing but walking. Do not sit for long periods of time. When you sit it puts hundreds of pounds of pressure on the hardware. If you would like to chat more you can email me at [email protected]
If it weren't FDA approved my insurance wouldn't even cover it. They wouldn't allow the Dr to put it in. I was wondering if it was because I have no cages now?

Since: Jan 11

Location hidden

#125 Nov 28, 2013
Reading these posts I must say I have endured a number of ongoing operations on my back and still in pain consulting my Osteo surgeon again next week. Suing surgeons is not the answer as you will not get the medical help you need. Just research back problems and enter constructive dialogue to seek the help you may need. Just the way I see it. Money doesn't heal pain. From my experience so many surgeons will guarantee 80% success but when that doesn't happen really don't want to know the patient.
Mike

Palm Bay, FL

#126 Nov 28, 2013
We are all being mislead. I was told there was no alternative to spinal fusion. Most people think that the hardware they install is meant to stay there forever. If you find a surgeon who actually knows what he is doing neuro not ortho, after the bone fuses the manufactures recommend that the hardware be removed. There is a better option for most and it is total disc replacement. You can type it in your fav search engine and read all about it. Just remember to that most of the people writing these comments are on some serious hardcore meds. As far as money not being a factor in recovery and quality of life try not having money and see how that works for you. I am a salesman and can sell anything, my doctor was a better salesman than me when he sold me on this crazy idea that cutting thru all your back muscles and putting a bunch of nuts and bolts and rods in your back is a good idea. Check out your doctor's patient rating and any other information you can find about him first. Second and third opinions are a good idea.
shirlee

Independence, OH

#127 Dec 7, 2013
my daughter had spine surgery last year..wore a body cast...now has loose screws and today found out she has a large " pocket of water" onthe spine?????anyone experience this? Thanks.
Mike

Palm Bay, FL

#128 Dec 7, 2013
Shirley from Cleveland. I am from Elyria, Ohio just west of Cleveland. I left the last couple of comments on here. You will find that there are alot of people with loose hardware. Now fluid on the spine is serious. Did the doctors place a drain tube in her back during the operation? if so, most of the fluid should have drained out and she should have been checked out with an xray. Seek immediate help and make sure you find a doctor who will give you a second opinion.
William

Cohoes, NY

#129 Dec 16, 2013
Hello, I received a spinal fusion L2 thru S1. My surgery was on October 1st 3013. It has taken away all the the pain that I lived with for so long. The nerve damage was so great I was losing the use of my left leg. Now I walk 1 to 2 miles each day and only have discomfort if I over do it, for I am still recovering. Yes I like so many feel and hear cracking or popping in my lumbar especially when I first get up in the AM. I am scheduled for a CT scan in Jan. So far so good. I truly feel your pain when I read these stories of people who can relate to living with such discomfort. I believe the popping is the facet joint. This is common from what I read. Scary yes. But the MD informs me that there will be movement and unless I feel pain when it pops I should not be concerned. Very heavy hardware and I have not fallen or injured myself so his answer I accept .
I hope and pray that my future with this fusion is better than my past.
Lester

Saint Petersburg, FL

#130 Dec 29, 2013
I had spinal fusion done L3 -L5 with rods and screws.Now I have loose hardware.I also have CHF and don't know if my heart is strong enough for surgery again.Is there anyone with similar situation?
Judy from Colorado

Denver, CO

#131 Jan 26, 2014
Hello everyone, I had a l-4, l-5 back fushion Jan 2010. Over the past couple of years I have had a continued decline in status. Went from just low back pain to some back rt thigh pain off and on to here this past year I have horrible low back pain that radiates across rt buttock thru rt hip joint down rt leg to ft at times making walking and bearing weight on that leg extremely painful. Sitting driving sets it off also lying down on heating pad does give me relief. However, I do not have numbness in these affected areas. I have noticed radiating pain from low back up to bases of neck in spinal column. It is throbbing pulsating pain excruciating. Went to or tho my.do. MRI was negative but said looked like screws might be coming loose. Going for CT scan. Has anyone experienced these symptoms? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I am on narcs for the pain pretty much since the surgery in 2010. Thanks:-)

Since: Jan 11

Location hidden

#132 Jan 26, 2014
Judy from Colorado wrote:
Hello everyone, I had a l-4, l-5 back fushion Jan 2010. Over the past couple of years I have had a continued decline in status. Went from just low back pain to some back rt thigh pain off and on to here this past year I have horrible low back pain that radiates across rt buttock thru rt hip joint down rt leg to ft at times making walking and bearing weight on that leg extremely painful. Sitting driving sets it off also lying down on heating pad does give me relief. However, I do not have numbness in these affected areas. I have noticed radiating pain from low back up to bases of neck in spinal column. It is throbbing pulsating pain excruciating. Went to or tho my.do. MRI was negative but said looked like screws might be coming loose. Going for CT scan. Has anyone experienced these symptoms? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I am on narcs for the pain pretty much since the surgery in 2010. Thanks:-)
Back pain is the worst. I have gone through 5 of them over 4 years. I have similar pain to you. Returned to my surgeon recently. After a number of scans was told he can't do any more for me unfortunately apart from trying pain blockers which may or may not be effective.
Mrsoly

Menifee, CA

#133 Feb 8, 2014
Hi everyone.
I'm new to this forum. Have read past posts and feel I could get some good advice. Had a laminectomyiL5/S1 in July 2013 after a year of trying many treatments, then fusion in Nov. 2013. Injury was in July 2012. All of my pain was on left side, left leg and foot burning, tingling, shooting pain, since fusion 90% of left side pain is gone. Recently new pain on right side. Shooting and pinching and slicing pain above buttock and shoots around pelvic hip area. Dr thinks a screw has laterally shifted. Just keeps saying to wait. Tired of that answer. I know my condition is minor compared to others but the constant pain and inability to walk and transition from sitting to standing or laying down to getting up is awful. Driving is also next to impossible. Sneezing and coughing is dreadful. I guess I'm asking if anyone has similar issues. It feels as If I'm being poked or sliced in this area. Worst part is that after 17 mos my family and friends have lost any sympathy or understanding of the pain and frustration related to fusion and back pain. They think since the disk is gone I should be good. Lol. Any info would be appreciated.
Judy

Denver, CO

#134 Feb 8, 2014
Mrsoly I can relate to you totally. Your symptoms are very similar to mine. I sympathize with you. I just recently had a MRI and it showed nothing. Dr.then ordered cut scan which showed my original fushion that was in 2010 never healed its still fractured. It also showed the screws are loose. Next is a nerve conduction study then possible surgery to redo the fashion. Maybe this could be your problem as well. Have you had any imaging done yet? I wish you the best. I to have family that think I don't have bad pain people that have not had bad back injuries have no idea how it is living day in and day out with it. Again I wish you the best keep searching for someone that can help you.

Since: Feb 14

Menifee, CA

#135 Feb 8, 2014
Judy wrote:
Mrsoly I can relate to you totally. Your symptoms are very similar to mine. I sympathize with you. I just recently had a MRI and it showed nothing. Dr.then ordered cut scan which showed my original fushion that was in 2010 never healed its still fractured. It also showed the screws are loose. Next is a nerve conduction study then possible surgery to redo the fashion. Maybe this could be your problem as well. Have you had any imaging done yet? I wish you the best. I to have family that think I don't have bad pain people that have not had bad back injuries have no idea how it is living day in and day out with it. Again I wish you the best keep searching for someone that can help you.
Dr has only done X-rays. I see him in 3 weeks and we will see what he suggests. At this point I'm sad to say I'm back on the pain meds and laying around. REALLY over all of this. Lost my job after being off for 11 mos. Forced to take an early retirement. Not my plan. Thank you for your reply. This is a lonesome and depressing condition. I know things could be so much worse I'm just thankful for all my blessings.
Mike Jones

Mooresville, NC

#136 Mar 29, 2014
I am going for my second surgery. My last surgery consisted of rods, screws and 3 levels fused... I now have 2 screws loose and a nonunion. Every single a Doctor I have seen has been very to not take any drug that is a NSAID. Example Ibpofren, Advil and many other drugs that are NSAIDs. These drugs will make your surgery fail. Has anyone else been told this??
Haseena

Roodepoort, South Africa

#137 Apr 9, 2014
Marie wrote:
I had a spinal fusion over a year ago with fusioin at L6-S1. Two months ago I was told that by my surgeon that I needed to go back to surgery to have loose hardware removed. There was no mention of having a CT Scan or having another fusion. I got two other surgical opinions and was told that the spinal fusion would have to be redone. I am still in pain but getting some relief with pain medication. I have come a long way after the first surgery and cannot see myself going through the surgery again. Is there anyone who had this surgery a second time for loose hardware and did well?
hi had a spinal fusion L5/S1 done four years ago. Going in tomorrow to have hardware and loose screws removed will keep u posted
hairy

Hampton, VA

#139 Jun 6, 2014
Hello all. I'm new to this. I had my fusion 12 mos ago and I'm in more pain now than b4 the surgery. 3 mos ago I went to the er for pain and they told me my screws were broken. My Dr dismissed me and them saying they don't know what they are talking about. Today, he took zrays and said or screws are broken. I'm like wtf!! W/C doc rt?? So I tell this clown the same thing I've been telling him for 12 months that I'm in serous pain and that I need help. He shakes Hus head and orders a ct scan telling me he won't do anything for me until he gets results bk. I have no pain meds, no work restrictions, and no pt. He won't give me anything to help me. Told me to go to work and nothing is wrong wit me. I'm so pissed rt now. I can't deal wit this and I'm close to putting my hands on him. This is wrong and he is mad at BC I asked him if he was going to help me in anyway. I live in va and I would advise ppl to move out of this state BC if their laws and how the screw the ppl over. I won't blast the Dr but I will blast his group. Orothpedic and spine center in Hampton roads via. This Dr looks at me and says I can take it really???? I don't know what to do and I'm in so much pain
hairy

Hampton, VA

#140 Jun 6, 2014
Mike Jones wrote:
I am going for my second surgery. My last surgery consisted of rods, screws and 3 levels fused... I now have 2 screws loose and a nonunion. Every single a Doctor I have seen has been very to not take any drug that is a NSAID. Example Ibpofren, Advil and many other drugs that are NSAIDs. These drugs will make your surgery fail. Has anyone else been told this??
Idk about that. I'm no Dr. I had my fusion and these clowns won't give me anything for pain so I have to eat bottles of that and it still doesn't do it for me. If what u say is true, I'm screwed and I'm only 12 months out with broken hardware. Gd luck mike
coffeebean

Mountain View, CA

#141 Jun 6, 2014
hairy wrote:
Hello all. I'm new to this. I had my fusion 12 mos ago and I'm in more pain now than b4 the surgery. 3 mos ago I went to the er for pain and they told me my screws were broken. My Dr dismissed me and them saying they don't know what they are talking about. Today, he took zrays and said or screws are broken. I'm like wtf!! W/C doc rt?? So I tell this clown the same thing I've been telling him for 12 months that I'm in serous pain and that I need help. He shakes Hus head and orders a ct scan telling me he won't do anything for me until he gets results bk. I have no pain meds, no work restrictions, and no pt. He won't give me anything to help me. Told me to go to work and nothing is wrong wit me. I'm so pissed rt now. I can't deal wit this and I'm close to putting my hands on him. This is wrong and he is mad at BC I asked him if he was going to help me in anyway. I live in va and I would advise ppl to move out of this state BC if their laws and how the screw the ppl over. I won't blast the Dr but I will blast his group. Orothpedic and spine center in Hampton roads via. This Dr looks at me and says I can take it really???? I don't know what to do and I'm in so much pain
. What the hell is going on where you live? That is plain malpractice! I had major back surgery Aug 24 2012. Notice how I know exact date. That's because that was the day my life changed. Never been the same since. Had a lamenectomy, discs removed, new discs put in . Fusion of L-5 to S-1. So they grafted cadaver bone. Put a plate , screws , rod, pins. 8 hr surgery. I am still healing as you probably know this takes awhile to heal. Well in the last month my back has really started to hurt bad. I feel something moving and popping. I thought maybe this was part of the healing process, Wrong! Had an x-ray done came back nuts and screws are lose, wait no loose they have come off! Please find another Dr. And get an attorney!
Maddey

Ipswich, MA

#142 Jun 7, 2014
I am 17 and 4 years ago, on July 26, 2010, I had a spinal fusion of 2 titanium rods and 22 screws from L3-T5 when I was 13 years old. Two years ago in an x-ray we found that one of the caps on a bottom screw had popped off. It couldn't travel because of the muscle overlapping it but this caused pain. I also experienced increased swelling on the whole left side of my back, so one of the muscles was bulging out in comparison to the other one. I have a bone scan coming up this week to determine if I will need surgeon to remove anything. This is extremely frustrating and painful.
mtmd405

Oklahoma City, OK

#144 Sep 8, 2014
Mike wrote:
We are all being mislead. I was told there was no alternative to spinal fusion. Most people think that the hardware they install is meant to stay there forever. If you find a surgeon who actually knows what he is doing neuro not ortho, after the bone fuses the manufactures recommend that the hardware be removed. There is a better option for most and it is total disc replacement. You can type it in your fav search engine and read all about it. Just remember to that most of the people writing these comments are on some serious hardcore meds. As far as money not being a factor in recovery and quality of life try not having money and see how that works for you. I am a salesman and can sell anything, my doctor was a better salesman than me when he sold me on this crazy idea that cutting thru all your back muscles and putting a bunch of nuts and bolts and rods in your back is a good idea. Check out your doctor's patient rating and any other information you can find about him first. Second and third opinions are a good idea.

No offense, you're wrong. Different spinal conditions have different treatment options. There are actually 6 different types of spinal fusion, with several different possible levels, with a variety of surgical techniques for creating an operative channel and accessing the surgical site.

Some hardware is temporary, some is permanent, most is either/or. Often, extracting the hardware is another traumatic surgery, one worse than the relatively minor complications from permanent hardware embedment. Not always, but most often.

Total disc replacement is only an option when a small number of vertebrae, ideally 1-2, are compromised. We do not yet have the ability to overhaul the entire spine. Star Trek this is not.:-)

I do agree that second opinions are good. That said, doctor ratings are not nearly as helpful as area of expertise. Does your doctor do this particular type of surgery frequently? Do they keep up with the CME in their specialty? Ideally, you want a surgeon who is an expert in the particular condition you have. While both knee replacement and spinal fusion are both performed by orthopaedic surgeons, someone who specializes in one is unlikely to be better than okay in the other. This is even true of disc replacement versus fusion. Fusion post-injury versus fusion for scoliosis. Etc. Get a doctor who focuses her or his practice on your specific condition.

M. Taylor, M.D. F.A.A.O.S
Orthopaedic Surgeon
Former adolescent full spinal fusion patient
Daughter of doctors, sister of doctors and nurses, and actual medical professional.
mtmd405

Oklahoma City, OK

#145 Sep 8, 2014
shirlee wrote:
my daughter had spine surgery last year..wore a body cast...now has loose screws and today found out she has a large " pocket of water" on the spine?????anyone experience this? Thanks.
Sadly, loose screws are not uncommon after body-cast requiring surgeries. Most non-trauma related surgery doesn't need casting anymore though. If your daughter didn't have an accident, but is being treated for an epigenetic medical condition, get a second opinion. Preferably from someone not belonging to the same practice as her current doctor. It may not be a big deal, and just the crap that can happen with spinal surgery, but it may be incompetence. Err on the side of caution, but please keep an open mind that the body does weird things, and the all surgical outcomes should be measured against what would have happened if no intervention was tried, not against the ideal outcome. This may just be bad luck.

As for the "pocket of water", it's called a bursa. We have them in our bodies to prevent things from rubbing on each other, mostly in our joints. Knees have relatively large natural bursas to prevent the bones from grinding together (at least healthy knees do). Like many patients having surgery on their joints or spine, your daughter's body has created a bursa to protect the surrounding tissue from the end of the screw. I have eight. They're mostly not a big deal unless they get really large and/or interfere with adjacent bones or muscles. At 17, I had one the size of a grapefruit drained and the offending bolt taken out, but as stated earlier, I still have 8 small ones. Two cause clicking in my shoulder, but I leave them alone because they are NBD. Bursae are a natural reaction in your body to implants and usually aren't anything to worry about.

M. Taylor, M.D. F.A.A.O.S
Orthopaedic Surgeon
Former adolescent full spinal fusion patient
Daughter of doctors, sister of doctors and nurses, and actual medical professional.
Please consult a licensed physician, in person, on your medical care. I don't know you, cannot diagnose you, and all statements from me should be considered educational, not diagnostic.

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