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2level spinal fusion...fractured screw

Started by gonegirl911 on 08/29/2017 8:58am

I had a 2 level spinal fusion done in November 2016, my leg pain is gone however i have had tremendous back pain since the surgery. ive had Xrays, MRI and i am now SCHEDULED FOR A CT SCAN.
My Dr. at the pain clinic informed me that i had a screw fracture before my surgeon.
The pain I'm in is horrible. I con feel grinding in my low back. I am close to losing my job with all the Dr appt's and
days i was on verge of lost.
My pain Dr just increased my med's to 7.5 Percacets 3x a day, i take an anti inflam. pill 4 times a day. I take 24 non aspirin pills (325 mg) just while I'm at work.
i can"t get a clear answer from my Dr. about what is going on. She just says it will be ok.. and orders another Test.
I returned to work Jan 21 2016. after my employer (person in human resources) messed up the paperwork and left me with
no income or insurance. but i had no way to pay her or any of my other Dr's.
Basically my life was a mess..
Now im worried about having to have another Surgery. Well She said in Beginning about screw fracture that was probably going to be what happens. she has since changed her mind and said no surgery at my last visit,
I am just confused how does a screw fracture?
I am struggling to make it through 8 hours of work just to get home and lay down. i have no social life and Im getting depressed.
I tried contacting 2 neurosurgens and they would't touch me
i am not aloud to exercise . i am just so over the pain....

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2 Responses


I know how you feel .. with my distectomy with fusion I now have horrible neck pain while doing any kind of work I can't sit or stand for anything longer than 15min. Yard work or any other simple activity has become painful to the point that the next day is hard to get out of bed. With this I have absolutely horrible headaches that last for days. When they put my plate and screws in the screws were tightened to much and the pressure broke my cortex so they put another in there as well. I never had headaches before never now I have them 3-4 times a month and they last anywhere between1-3 days. my body is saying it's the Metal (titanium plate and screws) causing the headaches but with knowing about this cortex thing it makes me wonder if that's it. No doctors like to treat me and it's impossible to find one to prescribe me any pain medication.. I'm 49 yrs old and shouldn't have to live in pain. It's gotten to where I'm depressed, low self esteem cuz I can't do much physically,( even daily routine stuff is becoming difficult) and at times just wanting to be done with it all cuz the pain is so unbarable at times. I'm sorry for your pain u are going through I hope you get the Information you need an deserve to have. I find the doctor's around here just don't want to deal with patients like me so they give you some f-d up diagnosis but won't treat with pain meds. Most of the time they just humiliate a person to the point you don't come back..


Hello, gonegirl911--we are so sorry to read about your spine surgery recovery experience! We have some information we'd like to share with you.

A screw breaking--or any instrumentation failure--is a complication of spinal fusion surgery. Instrumentation refers to devices, such as metal rods, plates, and screws, that are implanted to stabilize the spine while it heals (fuses). If an implanted device becomes damaged or breaks, a second surgery may be necessary to remove and/or replace it. The key word in that last sentence is *may*.

The article linked below explains that sometimes a surgeon may opt to keep defective instrumentation in place as opposed to having a patient undergo a second surgery. If the failed instrumentation isn't causing any significant problems (such as obvious nerve damage), then it may make more sense to keep the broken device in place versus putting you at risk for the complications that come with a second surgery:
( Spinal Fusion Instrumentation Removal: Pros and Cons ).

Our best advice is to talk with your spine surgeon about your current level of pain and whether it's caused by the broken screw or if you're still working through your surgery recovery. If your surgeon believes the broken screw is the source of your pain, we suggest you discuss the pros and cons of removing the broken the screw with a second spine surgery.

We hope this information helps and wish you the very best of luck as you weigh your treatment options!