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Hardware failure after ACD & Fusion

Started by pattyo on 01/28/2011 4:41am

Need some input - Had a 4 level ACD & Fusion 11/30/10. Successful surgery initially but surgeon stated concerned when noticed "bones were spongy" and "screws went in too easily" when plating. Questions raised post-op: ? Smoker = NO, ? Osteoporosis = NO, ? Vit D deficiency = NO. X-ray at 6 wks post show middle 4 screws "working their way out" with the titanium plate "bowing" and "shifting". Also, bone grafts are stronger than my bones and on x-ray shows compression along with the shifting of the fusion.
Now getting an endocrine work up. (History of Hashimoto's Thyroiditis). Have been in Miami-J continuous since 11/30/10, bone stimulator daily x 4 hours and now surgeon wants me in a custom Minerva for another 6 weeks. Getting a little stir crazy, jaw and teeth are very painful, neck and shoulders intense muscle discomfort, increasing muscle weakness to both arms but at least the arm pain and numbness I had prior to surgery is thankfully mush better (for now). I get daily headaches, feel exhausted, sleep is disturbed due to neck brace on all the time. Oh, and I almost forgot, lost my voice due to surgery (not just a slight hoarseness, significant loss of voice). Can't work, can't drive, can't lift anything over 5 pounds, and can't even clean my house.
MD very conservative, thinks the extra 6 weeks in the Minerva custom brace will reverse the bowing of the plate and the screws will "magically" go in the other direction. I'm skeptical that this will work and I may need another surgery. Also, any thoughts on the success of using Forteo in the healing of bone for this kind of post-op problem ?
Anybody have any input? Would love to hear your thoughts.

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2 Responses


Sounds like my nightmare may begin, just as yours.
I had C3-5 fused in 2001. No hardware was applied. In 2007, MRI's revealed a severe bow in the fused vertebrae. My lordosis was already reversing when the 2001 surgery took place. Still, the surgeon used NO hardware. Then in 2007, the MRI showed the disk between C2-3 and C5-6 were being forced out and into the canal. Pressing on the cord itself to the tune of 60+%. So, in the long run, not using hardware caused even more reverse lordosis and bringing about more surgery and damage.
When the disks were removed, scar tissue formed on the cord and now I have signal interruptions to my legs. Left mainly, with it "going out" suddenly on me at anytime of day or night. My quads are still strong enough to support and catch me. I have not fallen completely to the floor, YET. Come close a few times. So, I know it's only a matter of time.
Like you, my left vocal cord was paralyzed during the two surgeries, leaving me with volume and swallowing issues.
Let me know how you make out.


Get at Least 2 more Doctor's Opinions....Your at the mercy of your body..i know it sucks try to relax though it's all already taken care of. Try to do fun things, slow down and stop worrying.easier said then done.. I know... it's o.k. You have us out here in this spine universe... why does it have to be a universe? who is this planets ruler....LOL Grin and Bear it..When you smile everyone wonders what's on your mind.....Peace be with you