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Posted in: Back pain.

Broken pedicle screws

Started by Dani on 03/03/2017 2:06pm

Has anyone had this ossue? I am a few years past an ALF L5 S1 lamenectomy. Now trying to figure out what next. Find surgeon to remove them or? Surgeons I did see, do not see any need at this time to remove. I'm very concerned.

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Hi, Dani--thanks for your post. Can you tell us more about your experience? Have you had imaging (such as an MRI) to confirm the broken pedicle screws? Have you seen multiple doctors who share the same opinion that they shouldn't be removed? What spine symptoms are you experiencing?

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I have another lengthy report in this site. yes, I have had X-Rays, Bending X-Rays, a ton of tests and the CT Scan shows two of the screws are broken. I have the pix by my computer. I have seen a few doctors (In my ins,. plan) and two gave a drive-by appointment saying, 1. The Neuro MD said, I would probably bleed to death since the area is too close to my organs. The 1st ortho did not even have my images until AFTER he told me that it was not a good idea to remove then because of complications (though he really did not give me any supporting reasons... but said, Wow, your scolosis is rated at 10, no one should have DX'd you with this. It is not that bad...as if the screw issue was not worthy of conversation. I kept insisting he download the images I brought to the office. He looked at one and said, yes, I don;t think it is a good idea to remove the screws,. By this time I wondered, is this now because I switched to an HMO for this year.. He was not prepared for me to even take him serious.l
The 3rd md is a spine surgeon.. I never met him and could not get an appt for 6 months and still have not seen him. He did look at my scans and reports and emailed me back exercise instructions AND stated, at this time he does not recommend surgery.
I called the appliance company to ask about recalls of the scew,. This company took them off the market the same year I had the surgery. The only comment they said was, you should get those screws removed. (I would not recontact them unless I had a lawyer do it) I just want to get this issue resolved first

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Wow--what an ordeal you've been through! Thank you for providing some additional information.

We think you've gone about this the right way by seeking the opinions of multiple doctors who have different spinal specialties (ortho versus neuro). Given the fact that all three doctors recommend keeping the screws in, it sounds like surgery might not be the best option at this time. However, the instrumentation company saying the screws should be removed definitely puts a more complex spin on things.

Can the manufacturer send you any documentation outlining why those screws should be removed? If there was a recall, they should have literature for patients and providers that details any potential concerns of continued use of that product. If you obtain that information, you can bring that to the three doctors and ask that they revisit your case. If the doctors still say the screws should remain, you'll at least have the peace of mind knowing that you explored every option.

Let us know how things go, Dani, and keep on fighting--you're doing an outstanding job advocating for your health!

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I called the company that sold the pedicle screws for my surgery. They are still "looking for the information". Its been a few weeks now. I would think all consumers have a right to the printed information from the company for the products. They wanted to refer me to the internet to look up the info on their website.
Under consumer rights I would think a document request from the company on my own implanted device should be provided without any delay. Has anyone gone this far to request product infomation?

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Hi, Dani - I'm having a 2-level PLIF soon. So I'm wondering what symptoms you are having from the broken pedicle screws? I hope you find a solution to your issues very soon!

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Hi
I had lower back pain that seemed as bad as it did prior to my laminectomy years earlier.

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