Mystery Pain in Leg after Metal Rod Placement

Posted in the Orthopaedic Surgery Forum

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Karen E

Fairfax, VA

#1 Apr 17, 2009
Hi there, I hope someone out there can help me. My boyfriend was in a car accident about 18 years ago. He broke his femur in 6 places and had a metal rod placed from the hip to the knee. Every few years, he suffers from excrutiating pain to the point where he can't walk, has to sleep sitting up, it hurts to put any kind of weight on it (he describes it as like a Charley Horse that won't go away). Eventually, after about 4-6 weeks it goes away. He has been to orthopedists, neurologists, you name it and no one can find a source for the pain. No arthritis, the bone has healed perfectly, the rod and pins are in the right place. Has has been put on every pain medication imaginable with no relief. I'm just wondering if anyone out there has had a similar experience and/or if anyone knows of a specialist who can help us. I can't fathom the thought of going through this again, the pain is unimaginable. Thank you!!!
Randy

Anaheim, CA

#2 Jun 20, 2009
I was in a car accident 19 yrs. ago and my femur was broken in one place somewhere in the middle. They put in a stainless steel or titanium rod and it does act up every now and then. The rod seams to reseat itself slightly during unusual exercise or position and it is my belief that the rod irritates adjacent nerves that can give pain directly related to that spot or create a pain that seems to be in a phantom spot different to the point of irritation that brings about the noted pain. IB profin seems to help for me but sometimes not enough. After about 4-6 weeks the rod usually settles back in with buffer material secreted by the body to restore a more comfortable state.
Karen E

Crofton, MD

#3 Jun 21, 2009
Thanks Randy, I appreciate your comments! That does sound like the same thing he goes through.
selma

AOL

#4 Jul 19, 2009
My husband complains of pain in his leg after shattering the bone and 15 screws and 2 plates.
Thank you for your answers. It helps me know that it is not his imagination.
Shannon

Arnold, MD

#5 Oct 26, 2010
Karen,
I'm hoping to still be able to get in touch with you even though this post more than a year old. I'm in Pasadena, Maryland and have been going through the same thing. I would love to talk to you. Please let me know if you're still on here.
Thanks,
Shannon
Shannon

Arnold, MD

#6 Oct 26, 2010
This pain is NOT in his head! I have titanium plates and screws in my face and also had rods in my right femor and left tibia from a car accident in 1988. The short of the story is..about 7 years after the accident, the 13 year nightmare of horrific facial pain, doctors and dental visits, a metal plate finally came out of my face through my mouth up near my top molars. After seeing my plastic surgeon he told me that he wasn't surprised it came out, he was surprised it took 20 years!

The rods were removed from my legs as soon as they healed but I have horrible pain in my right hip. There doesn't seem to be any explination for this other than, it's from the rod placement and removal. I feel like I'm going through the same thing all over again. I suppose it will take another tradegy (my leg to break in half) before a doctor will actually help me again. They've told me I would benefit from a hip replacement but that I'm too young and that I'd have a hard time finding a doctor to do it. I'm 40 years old and I still have so much living to do, yet I can't do anything because the pain is so incredible. Why won't anyone help someone who wants help? I'm so very, very, frustrated!
Lois

Harrisburg, PA

#7 Mar 16, 2011
My right tibia/fibula was broken 9/09 (spiral). It has healed okay except that just a couple of months ago it began hurting again. Mainly when I step on it. It feels like the break is rubbing together. I went to my orth dr. a few weeks ago and he says everything looks fine on the x-ray that I could have the screws only taken our or the rod AND screws if I want. I'm afraid to have this done so I'm putting up with the pain; at least for now.
shaw

Kansas City, MO

#8 Mar 21, 2011
i've had a titanium rod since 2008 never had a problem or pain until recently and now it hurts to walk or even twist my ankle idk if its the pin in my leg or the rod, i made a dr apointment to see whats wrong. i googled the titanium rod in people's legs and most of the time they had it removed hoping the pain will go away...
shaw

Kansas City, MO

#9 Mar 22, 2011
no point in dealing with the pain if the doctor can fix it, i'm just scared because i cant afford to miss work lol
jamie

China Grove, NC

#10 Mar 25, 2011
i was looking to find out why my hip was hurting. i was in a car accident almost 5 yrs ago and a few weeks ago i was doing some yard work and i bent down in a kind of weird way and a very bad pain in my hip, feels like a muscle is stretching or a bad charlie horse, it hurts so bad i tense up and cant move, finally i ease back into normal. it happens only when i kneel down or try to sit up from a laying position. i sure hope it doesn't get worse. if anyone has the same problem and had a diognosis please e-mail me and let me know, please. lassiter.jamie2@gmail.com
Tanja

United States

#11 Apr 4, 2011
Hi I'm Tanja and I have rods and screws in both of my legs due to a car accident. In my left leg it runs from my hip to my tibia then tibia to ankle. I experiences discomfort and pain on a daily basic. Depending on the weather, to cold or hot or raining I experience pain and discomfort. Nothing really helps the pain but if I elevate my leg higer then my head it ease the discomfort.I have had my rods for 5 years due to a auto accident..they can't be removed because they actually replace my bones. Some day I can't get out of bed the pain really takes a toll on your body. If anybody have a another way to deal with the pain plz tell.
Debbie

Colorado Springs, CO

#12 Jun 11, 2011
I had a head-on collision 4 years ago, and had many broken bones, including my left femur bone. They put a rod in from my hip to my knee. I have had chronic pain ever since, and the left side of my leg is numb. Recently, I am having heavy-duty increased pain. I think it might be from yard work, but I'm not sure. Massage helps to some degree, but I come off of the table from the pain. I do believe the pain is due to the screws causing nerve pain.
lorrie

United States

#13 Jul 21, 2011
I have had I.m rod from knee to ankle broke Tibbits/fib 11 spots in o ct.04. I recently fell and since then my ankle,knee and the exact place I shattered the tibia.I have all screwed out many years ago.I am convinced the pain is the rod.anyone heard of this? I'm thinking about demanding it be taken out
Michael

United States

#14 Jul 29, 2011
I broke my left femur one year ago on this day from a longboard accident going down a big hill and jumped off at high speeds broke it right in half! They hollowed out the bone and put a metal rod with two screws,:( its the worst pain that I think any1 can experince... I'm a ballet dancer and very active so its tuff rly tuff I'm 20 and I know it will heal soon its just a lot to take in the pain is allways there... I guess the meds work but there's always so much pain still/ the break I can barley feel its the screws close to my hip and nee that hurt! Is it normal that I can't bend my leg? And the smallest things hurt it?
Michael

United States

#15 Jul 29, 2011
I ment to say it happend one week ago not a whole year
Tom

United States

#16 Aug 19, 2011
Broke my tibia and fibula 9 years ago on the ball field. Had a titanium rod inserted with 4 screws. Have always had pain/numbness at the spot of the breaks, but for the 1st 6 years, the pain was manageable. The last 3 years, pain throughout the leg has increased tremendously....and nobody can tell why ? Doctor tells me the leg has healed great......I had 2 of the screws taken out....had my veins in my leg checked....nothing is working and nobody can figure it out ! Getting extremely frustrated....pain affects trying to simply walk now. Have thought about cutting the damn thing off !

Any suggestions on where the pain may be coming from would be greatly appreciated.
Ann

Lehi, UT

#17 Sep 7, 2011
I broke both my tibia and fibula in my right leg nine years ago. I have tried to stay active and go to the track almost everyday. About a year ago, I felt like I got a shin split and backed off for a while. I now go to the track every other day and take pilates two days a week.

About two weeks, the pain got so back I could hardly step on my leg. I backed off for two weeks. It feels better but is still not back to normal. I can step on it but I can feel it. It hurts to go down stairs. I saw an orthopedic surgeon and he said everything looked good. I could either have the rod removed or the screws removed.

I am afraid removing the rod will weaken my leg. Has anyone had the rod remove from their shin and it took away the pain?
shaun

Lydney, UK

#18 Sep 17, 2011
Ann wrote:
I broke both my tibia and fibula in my right leg nine years ago. I have tried to stay active and go to the track almost everyday. About a year ago, I felt like I got a shin split and backed off for a while. I now go to the track every other day and take pilates two days a week.
About two weeks, the pain got so back I could hardly step on my leg. I backed off for two weeks. It feels better but is still not back to normal. I can step on it but I can feel it. It hurts to go down stairs. I saw an orthopedic surgeon and he said everything looked good. I could either have the rod removed or the screws removed.
I am afraid removing the rod will weaken my leg. Has anyone had the rod remove from their shin and it took away the pain?
please help, ive just read your question and its the exact one i need answering, my accident was 6 yrs ago to the day and the pain after a long walk is unbeleivable now to the point where im on liquid morphine for no particular problen barr pain.
Christy

Huttig, AR

#19 Sep 18, 2011
I had bone cancer in my right leg they put a rod in my leg and I've been having a lot of pain. Can't hardly walk without limping and it lasts like that for several days. Aleve is the only thing that helps but I have to take it everyday because my legs hurt at night keeping me from sleeping.
Karen O

Canada

#20 Sep 20, 2011
I broke my tibula and fibula about 10 years ago and have a rod and screws as well. I find that even though I do have some pain in it; at times that it is the worst as the cold weather comes on or if it is going to be a rainy day. My fiance teases me and calls it my weather predictor. It burns like hell though and aches so that I can't sleep or walk at times. I was told to use cold and hot compresses as well as soak in a bath. Ibuprofen as well can help. It sometimes helps but none of the doctors I have talked to have been able to help totally.

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