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Old 09-03-2014, 03:19 PM
Rodverta Braefusion Rodverta Braefusion is offline
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Unhappy My rods are broken!!!!

Hi all,

I know I haven't been here for a bit but I have been going through some personal issues over the last year or so. I am in the S & D mode! I have been coming to the forums just to get some mini updates but not really taking part.
It is with deep sadness that I report that an xray on Thursday revealed that my two rods are fractured and so is my fusion at the L3/4 level. Words cannot describe my anger at the moment.
Four weeks ago after doing my nightly walk ( 1 hour every night), I came home and something in the air outside triggered a sneezing fit. On my last sneeze, I heard a massive 'clunk' and I could not move. I thought nothing of it, took some Zavance and Panadol Osteo and went to bed for the night, in the hope that all would be well the next morning. Well it wasn't. I rang the GP's rooms and asked for an appointment for the next day as I could not drive. I saw the GP the next day and explained to him that we needed to act fast as I felt crooked and out of alignment. He sent me for a CT scan which revealed and annular disc bulge at L2/3 and a mass at L5/S1. He suggested I call my surgeon and get his opinion. I could not get into the surgeons rooms until Late April, therefore, sugeon said he would access my films online and we would go from there. Apparently the reporting on the scan was incorrect!!! Pain was increasing, no sleep for nights and now barely able to walk, I present to the emergency room at the Private Hospital. The Dr on shift, was so ....(lets not go there)! She asked me what I thought we could achieve for me as 'everyone has back pain, some people can tolerate it more than others. I dont know what you are expecting from me. I dont know what it is that I can do for you'. Me 'can we just do a plain xray, because I feel that something is seriously wrong'. Her ' not that would be unnecessary. Would you like me to call Dr .. and see what he says. Me ' yes that might be a good idea!!!!!!' She comes back with a totally different attitude and says that he wants me to have a bone scan and a urgent blood test to check for certain markers. I have the bone scan done the next day and it reveals certain activity that relates to me falling last year (if you remember that one) but really nothing else. Surgeon makes an appointment to see me in his rooms so that we can go over the scan with his fancy scan/xrays software. Seems everything is ok, but he is baffled by the pain. I tell him that 'last night when I went to the loo, as I sat down, I heard this 'crack' and that I felt as if something fell across my lower back. He says ' what did it sound like? I say ' sounded like slapping a ruler on the table' He suggests I have plain xrays to make sure that the hardware is ok and that if it is, we will inject the si joints one at a time to establish if it is indeed these joints that are giving me grief. Had the xrays the next day and i was quite positive that the 'crack' was a sign that everything was going back to normal and settling back into place. WRONG!! I was at work with my phone on silent and did not see all the missed calls from my surgeon (he was calling me in between theatre patients). I called him back and he let me know the bad news. He said he was quite surprised at the findings. I now have to see him on Tuesday, so that we discuss where we go from here. To say that I am upset and angry is a real understatement. I will keep you all posted, but it seems that due to where it is, I will require revision surgery to replace the rods. I am hoping they can be mended. Dont know if this is an option though.
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  #2  
Old 09-03-2014, 09:24 PM
Christine Christine is offline
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Default Re: My rods are broken!!!!

Oh no. Oh no no. Sitting here feeling so unhappy reading what you are going through. And we think we are all ok but really things like that can happen.

Broken rods often go through my mind but have thought that it would take a certain amount of force to actually snap the hardware.

So how is your pain level? Are you just hanging in there? I can't really comprehend what it would feel like but expect it must be physically excruciating along with so very emotionally awful. I guess it is really like having a broken back, somewhat?

Do you think the sneezing put something out in your back that then led to the rods snapping?

I wish I could offer something but can only offer my heartfelt wishes that you can get some answers and action pronto.

This already will me think carefully about things....I have been totally overdoing things at my work (which I expect you have done too) over the past few months, lifting things, bending silly ways to get jobs done and I feel so fragile, my bottom half won't talk very much to my top half sometimes and my legs feel very numb and un-coordinated. For the past week I have been meaning to make an appointment with my GP to have a general chat about pain management and perhaps changing my entire life (again) to reduce the strain on my back. It is not worth pushing all of this wonderful surgery results aside for the sake of working as we do.

Please please take great care. and keep in touch. As much as you need to. Hopefully someone on our forum or the other UK/USA sites might have a similar story with a bit of advice.

It is just not fair. As if you haven't had enough already.

Lots of love xxx
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  #3  
Old 10-03-2014, 09:19 AM
Rodverta Braefusion Rodverta Braefusion is offline
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Smile Re: My rods are broken!!!!

HI Christine,

I do think that my back was somehow out of alignment and putting pressure at the level that broke. I kept telling my Dr that I feel that my hips are rotated but no-one would listen. Dont get me wrong, I respect that they do years of study in their field but hey, I wear this body everyday! The pain is pretty bad, as you can well imagine. Its going down my outer hips, legs, lower back etc. I cant lie down for long, nor stand or sit. It is mentally challenging. No wander I am exhausted. I work as Medical Receptionist two days per week and was mean't to start a new job tomorrow as an Allied Receptionist (two days a week)with a Dietician. I had to cancel that as my surgeon said to delay starting work until after the surgery but this was not an option with the employer. The Consult General Physician I work for is very understanding and is prepared to do what it takes to help me out (one of his specialties is chronic pain). My advice to you Christine, is to really take it easy. I will be re-evaluating my life after this surgery I can tell you.
Take care, RB
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  #4  
Old 11-03-2014, 10:16 AM
Mudjimba Mudjimba is offline
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Default Re: My rods are broken!!!!

So sorry to hear your terrible news together with the fact that you had to go through such a dreadful ordeal to get to know what you suspected.
Being 7 weeks out of surgery, I am moving more freely everyday and am often concerned that I am moving the "right way".
Thinking of you,
Lorraine
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  #5  
Old 11-03-2014, 04:30 PM
Rodverta Braefusion Rodverta Braefusion is offline
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Default Re: My rods are broken!!!! Update

Hi all,
I saw my surgeon today for review of the xrays I had last week. We compared the initial CT scan, the bone scan and the last plain xray. He concluded that, the rods may have been broken for some time and that the sneeze merely set off the pain by aggravating them, but that the 'crack' that I heard may well have been the fusion that broke. I asked him if he thought that my fall last year may have contributed to the rods breaking. He said that it was a possibility, but that he would only be theorising. He said it is very uncommon for rods to break this far down the track (5 years). He said normally if they are going to break, they will in the first year. We have decided to wait until March 27th, to see if my pain improves and to see if there is any sign of the fusion healing itself. He said that if the fusion could heal itself in the right position, I would not need to have surgery to remove the rods (unless they were causing me a lot of pain like now) as they are only there to help the fusion. He said he is in no rush to put me through surgery, as although it is not like the initial surgery, it is still a long process. If I do go to surgery, he will remove all my old hardware and replace it with shorter rods, as I will only need the rods in the area that the spine needs to fuse. I am willing to give it the time it needs although it will be hard on me financially. We have tentatively booked surgery for March 31st but he said I could keep moving the date if I thought I was getting some improvement and hopefully cancel the surgery. Fingers crossed. Will keep you posted.
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  #6  
Old 11-03-2014, 04:34 PM
Rodverta Braefusion Rodverta Braefusion is offline
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Default Re: My rods are broken!!!!

Thankyou Lorraine for your kind thoughts. Sounds like you are doing well. Keep up the good work. My theory is: if you are moving well with only 'surgical pain nigglys', then you are moving the right way. Take care and take it easy, Best wishes RB
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  #7  
Old 11-03-2014, 08:02 PM
Christine Christine is offline
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Default Re: My rods are broken!!!!

Great to hear you now have a clear (kind of) idea about your options. And good that your surgeon is not whipping you in for surgery straight away. Although I hope your pain levels are manageable until you find out if you are fusing again.

Let's hope so xxx
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  #8  
Old 13-03-2014, 11:58 AM
rosie rosie is offline
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Default Re: My rods are broken!!!!

Gosh I feel for you so much. I never thought this could happen after fusing. It makes my worried now because like you and Christine I push myself and only thought the other day that I must be really learning to flex allot more as I am more able to twist when driving now more than I have been able to evere do and I am fused to pelvis ...ekkkkkkkkkkk hope I haven't done any thing stupid. I reaaaaaaaaaaally hope all goes well for you and you don't need more surgery you poor thing. By the way how old are you, have forgotten????
Rosie
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  #9  
Old 13-03-2014, 08:24 PM
Heathpal Heathpal is offline
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Default Re: My rods are broken!!!!

That is just horrible for you. So sorry to hear it after doing so well for so long. I just hope things get better on their own. My fear factor has just risen to epic proportions - I go in for my op in May. This is a big reality check for all of us. Stay strong and no doubt ALL our thoughts are with you. Heather.
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  #10  
Old 16-03-2014, 08:03 PM
Rodverta Braefusion Rodverta Braefusion is offline
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Default Re: My rods are broken!!!!

Thanks, Christine, Rosie and Heather.
My surgeon is great - what can I say... He is giving me a chance to avoid surgery for which I am extremely grateful, however, this weekend, I just could not see the light a the end of the tunnel for my pain. The Endone is not working and I went to the pharmacy today to speak to the pharmacist regarding how I might be able to use my existing pain meds in a combination that may be able to help me. I tried to stay off he meds today to give my body a rest from being on pain meds for 4 weeks straight - not a good idea, I was sick due to the pain and then started trembling (dont think I will do that again!)

Rosie, as the Dr explained. Fractures after 5 years are not normal and was at a loss to explain why it may have happened. I am 49 next month. Regarding your movements, as you move forward, you can do more. I was actually considering going to coach my grandaughters netball team. I actually felt that I was back to "normal". The Physician I work for was stunned when I told him I had such a long fusion. He just thought I had a great posture as I showed no "signs" of someone who had had surgery.

Heather, have no fear. I was hesitant to post this on the forum, but thought that I had to, as it is something that can happen. We have a great network of people on this forum and I love the way every person can help another in their journey to something so challenging but very do-able.

OK better get off now - not feeling good again.
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