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Broken titanium rods

Started by Susan5 on 01/06/2018 10:04am

Hi I am a 56 yr old female. I had surgery for scoliosis at age 14 with a Herrington rod. I did ok with it until I was in my 40’s where I started having significant pain. 3 more major surgeries in the last 10 years with added hardware and then removal of all hardware and then more hardware I am now facing a 5th major surgery because 2 rods broke a year after last surgery in 2011. First I was shocked that titanium rods could break and now I am just so scared to have more surgery. The dr says they need to remove the lower hardware and do something different. Cage etc. I am already fused from T3- S1. I honestly don’t know what to do. What if it doesn’t help? Will leaving it make things worse? I experience extreme fatigue in my legs ( only way to describe ) along with pretty bad pain at times. I’m just so done! Any one else in same boat. Could use advice. Just had mylogram/CT and X-rays. Now seeing surgeon to discuss options next week in NYC. TIA.

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Hi, Susan5--thanks for your post. We hear from a lot of people in your shoes who experience problems with hardware after fusion surgery and are faced with whether to undergo another surgery. We think this is a good resource to help learn about why a doctor might recommend (or not recommend) revision surgery: ( Spinal Fusion Instrumentation Removal: Pros and Cons ).

If you're uncomfortable with the idea of another spine surgery, it might be worthwhile to seek another opinion. If the second doctor looks at your imaging scans and also recommends surgery, then it's important to get a clear picture of the risks and benefits of surgery specific to you. The main questions should be: What should I expect in terms of my pain and symptoms after surgery? and What should I expect in terms of my pain and symptoms if I don't get this surgery?

We hope this information helps as you weigh how to move forward. Keep us posted on what you decide. We wish you the best with whatever path you take!