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Loose screws

Started by MedicSteve on 10/21/2017 12:43pm

After a work injury I was fused with hardware from L4 to S1. A screw came loose after a hemangioma had developed around that screw which I ruptured in work hardening physical therapy. I ended up getting the failed fusion repaired which was moved up a level. They removed the loose hardware and put new hardware in place from L3 to S1. I contracted a spinal infection two weeks post op which almost did me in! I spent a week in the ICU and went home with a PIC line in my arm. Eight weeks of antibiotics three times a day and all seemed to be going well. A little less than one and a half years I started experiencing a lot of back pain and my legs are numb from my lumbar spine to my feet bilaterally. Imaging has revealed that there are now TWO loose screws at L3! Two screws have become unseated! Why does this keep happening? Is it a product defect????!!!??

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1 Response


Hello, MedicSteve--thank you for your post! We are so sorry to read about the multiple experiences you've had with spinal instrumentation failure (Instrumentation refers to devices such as metal rods, plates, and screws used to stabilize the spine while it heals).

It's impossible for us to say whether your experiences indicate a product defect, but this type of fusion complication is one we hear a lot about from visitors to our Community.

When we read your post, we thought you might be interested in this article: ( Spinal Fusion Instrumentation Removal: Pros and Cons ).

We hope this helps you learn more about this type of complication, and we wish you the very best.