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annie0401 posted:
Last April I had T5-T11 fused with screws & rods due to a fracture at T8. Was getting along good until about 2 weeks ago. Now it feels different and more painful. There is some swelling and it gets very tight. I know this sounds stupid, but I am concerned about the hardware coming lose. Has anyone had a similar experience?
davedsel57 responded:
Hello and welcome.

You have a very valid concern. Other members who have had fusion surgeries have experienced problems with the hardware.

You would do best to discuss this with the surgeon. He/she may order an x-ray or MRI to make sure the hardware is OK.

I hope you can find answers and relief soon.
Click on my user name or avatar picture to read my story.


bj1208 responded:
hi and welcome to the support group -

As Dave said you do have a valid concern and should discuss this with your surgeon. You are 5/6 months post op - have you been released from surgeon's care? are you still following the guidelines of do's and don'ts? you had a long fusion and I would be surprised to find your not still under surgeon's care.

I had a single fusion and was under surgeon's care for 8 months and once I was released I was sent to pain management and physical therapy.

Please let us know what you find out - take care - Joy
annie0401 replied to davedsel57's response:
Thanks, Dave. I will be seeing my surgeon Thurs.

Sure hope & pray there is no problem.
annie0401 replied to bj1208's response:
Yes, I am still under dr. care, will be until next April. In fact I see him this thurs. I have an xray before each visit. I also wonder if I would feel the hardware. My back is not as numb as earlier. Can't say it is really painful, just feels wierd. I try to follow the do's & don'ts, but also know that I have done some things before thinking.

Thanks for your reply.
bj1208 replied to annie0401's response:
hi again -

yea I had x-ray too before my post op visits - this way they can check to see how the fusion is healing/any bone growth and also the hardware.

I had so many fears that when I did something I shouldn't have that I messed up something - last year I had bad episodes of sitting up in bed, cross legged and would fall asleep and would fall off the bed!!! I was so worried on one fall as it was bad and I really thought I did something. went to ER and they did x-ray and said everything looked good. had appt with my pain doc and told him what happened - he said let's get MRI just to see if maybe I damaged other discs - he basically said my hardware was in place and would not budge ( unless real bad accident) and said it was sturdy. a surgeon said that with my single fusion the hardware was pretty stable about 4-6 months post op - you've had a bigger fusion and i'm sure most of it is pretty secure.

it could be that all your feelings are starting to heal and ur feeling your back differently (as you will always now) and you could have some muscle spasm.

are you still wearing a back brace? even though my surgery was in 2/08 I still wear my back brace just for the extra support.

please let us know how u are doing and what the surgeon says - take care - Joy
annie0401 replied to bj1208's response:
Hi bj,& Dave,

Again, Thank You for replying to me. It is reassuring to have someone to talk with that has been down this path somewhat.

The x-ray showed all is okay with the hardware, Dr. said what I am feeling is normal and is part of the healing. As the muscles heal and nerves regenerate it will feel different, even th soreness is normal. A big relief for me. Go back in April for my final visit. Hopefully, I never have to have back surgery again. Take care - Ann
davedsel57 replied to annie0401's response:
Great news! Thanks for updating us.
Click on my user name or avatar picture to read my story.


bj1208 replied to annie0401's response:
Hi Annie0401 - that is great news!!! especially to know that what you are feeling are still in the healing process. As I said before I only had the single fusion and they went in thru my stomach so there's a big difference in what I was feeling during recovery and what you are feeling as your's was done thru your back and they went thru more tougher muscles/nerves.

keep us posted how you are doing etc., it would help some members know that you are having a successful surgery/recovery.

take care - Joy

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