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Old 12-01-2014, 03:05 PM
Kiwicurves Kiwicurves is offline
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Default Broken Screw - revision surgery and a bit of a parental RANT !

Miss 14 had surgery in March 2013 (Fusion from T2 to L4) and her recovery and rehabilitation from then was absolutely amazing. As a competitive swimmer she was back in the pool within months and exceeding expectations.

But then in early December I noticed something looked wrong. And her pain levels had increased to a unbearable 9 out of 10. We continued treatment with her Osteopath post surgery and he suggested we see her specialist asap. 2 hours drive later, stopping for x-ray on the way and a brief meeting with the specialist who completely dismissed us ... I was relieved when he said it was nothing and to just ignore it ... but still had nagging doubts that all was not well. I thought the x-ray looked strange, but he assured me it was just the angle it was taken on. And then there was the amount of pain she was in.

Her Osteopath felt the same way as me, he said he could 'feel' the rod moving ... and referred her for a C-T Scan and insisted that the specialist review her again. The specialist was the only person who was surprised when the CT scan clearly showed the top screw (T2) was completely snapped and one of her rods was sticking out between T2 and T7.

So we have revision surgery in 2 weeks, the surgeon is replacing the original screw with a larger one and re-attaching the rod. Miss 14 will miss out on at least the first couple of weeks of the school term and unlike last time is not allowed to participate in any sport for 6 months. I'm gutted for her.

I'm am so grateful for the persistence of our Osteo and his belief that her pain was real. And also a reminder that we as parents know our children better than the specialist/surgeon!!
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Old 13-01-2014, 09:42 AM
MAB MAB is offline
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Default Re: Broken Screw - revision surgery and a bit of a parental RANT !

Wow! As you say we know our children better than anyone. My son is 5 months post now and is doing amazing - I have to remind myself that, even though he looks fantastic, his spine is still recovering. His surgeon was very adamant from the beginning that he could do no sport for 6 months - the only thing he has been able to do is walking and more recently some light jogging and swimming. He can't wait to get back on his bike though, which he can do after his 6 month check - but trail biking will have to wait for even longer.
Hopefully the revision surgery will be a walk in the park compared to what she went through last time - stay strong and my thoughts are with you all
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Old 13-01-2014, 11:25 AM
Eliz Eliz is offline
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Default Re: Broken Screw - revision surgery and a bit of a parental RANT !

Thank goodness you kept pushing and found the answer! Don't envy you having another surgery but with that pain I'm sure it is a relief to know it can be fixed. Best wishes for the next hurdle, will be thinking of you. Liz.
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Old 13-01-2014, 05:40 PM
Shan Shan is offline
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Default Re: Broken Screw - revision surgery and a bit of a parental RANT !

I am so sorry to hear that. I followed your initial posts with interest as my daughter is a competitive swimmer also. Wishing you and your daughter the very best for a successful revision. My thoughts are with you.
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Old 13-01-2014, 08:45 PM
Kiwicurves Kiwicurves is offline
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Default Re: Broken Screw - revision surgery and a bit of a parental RANT !

Thanks for you kind wishes.

It's been a bit of a bummer of a summer break for her, but we've managed a couple of short beach trips when the pain is bearable (until I caught her attempting to body surf in the waves ... and did that embarrassing neurotic mother screech from the beach that was shameful enough to bring any teenager out of the water !!!).

The surgeon isn't blaming her swimming for the hardware failure, more that the right side of the vertebrae were too small to put screws in many of them so she ended with a smallish screw on T2 and no screws right down to T7. He's having to do a bone graft this time to enable him to put a bigger screw (or two) on the right side. Hence the no sport rule this time around.

He tells me it will be a 4 hour surgery this time, so just on half the time it took last year. Miss 14 tells me she isn't worried as she knows what to expect this time around ... but we know the nerves will kick in for us both next week.

In the meantime, I'm splashing out on a pamper day for her tomorrow and even letting her have her hair dyed ... something that would never have happened had she been spending every day in the swimming pool.

Happy, healthy and healing thoughts to you all
Sarah
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Old 14-01-2014, 12:23 AM
Eliz Eliz is offline
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Default Re: Broken Screw - revision surgery and a bit of a parental RANT !

Our surgeon used hooks at the top where vertebrae too small then screws further down. Your surgeon doesn't use hooks? They are not as secure I think but better than nothing??
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Old 14-01-2014, 05:45 AM
Kiwicurves Kiwicurves is offline
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Default Re: Broken Screw - revision surgery and a bit of a parental RANT !

Hi Eliz, I know he has used hooks on other patients but decided not to (for whatever reason) with Miss 14. In saying that he's been doing spine surgery for 18 years and specialised in scoliosis for the past 10 ... so I trust his choices in that regard.
Unfortunately surgeons of his calibre can be pretty hard to communicate with so I am very grateful for our osteo who is excellent and has acted as a go between for us. Our anaesthetist is equally as nice so we've got a pretty good team on our side :-)
7 days to go ... now I just need our insurance to hurry up and confirm they are paying for it !!! (I feel like they are looking for a loophole and its one stress I don't need right now)
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Old 14-01-2014, 11:14 AM
Eliz Eliz is offline
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Default Re: Broken Screw - revision surgery and a bit of a parental RANT !

How could you not be covered.... That is a scary thought. Hope they come through for you soon! That's the last thing you need to be worrying about! I'm sure it will all go well.
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Old 15-01-2014, 09:32 AM
Kara Kara is offline
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Default Re: Broken Screw - revision surgery and a bit of a parental RANT !

Poor girl hope every thing goes well
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Old 17-01-2014, 07:56 AM
Kiwicurves Kiwicurves is offline
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Default Re: Broken Screw - revision surgery and a bit of a parental RANT !

Good news...insurance came through. They had been considering whether this could be claimed through ACC instead (whether it could have been considered an accident, rather than hardware failure). If they had decided this it would've dragged on forever.
So the countdown begins in earnest now. We fly to Auckland on Tuesday and have two nights in a nice hotel as a pre-surgery treat before having the surgery take place on Thursday morning.
Because we have the surgery done at a private hospital they have a bed for me in her room and even provide delicious meals for me. I can vividly remember Salmon, mushrooms and poached eggs on toast for breakfast last time! (They even have a wine list ... how very civilised). So thank goodness for small mercies.
Will let you all know how she goes once we are home.
Sarah
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