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Buffalowilliam
7th August 2008, 11:32 AM
Hello, I'm new to the group and am very happy to have found it! I had an operation on my spine to correct my kyphosis in May 2005. The surgery went very well (Mr. Fairbanks at the Nuffield Orthopaedic/John Radcliffe Hospital(s) in Oxford) and I made a swift recovery ... think I was only in recovery in hospital for five days.

Recently I've been having some lower back problems and my physio says that because of the metal rods in my back the muscles of my torso do no work to stabilise the spine and there is therefore excessive pressure on my lower spine. As a result of this I'm writing to my surgeon to get his advice on having the metal rods removed. I'm planning to have them taken out and then embark on a program of yoga and pilates to hopefully get my spine in the best condition possible.

I was just wondering if anyone had any thoughts on this or could tell me about when they had their rods removed.

Thanks

alyssa
7th August 2008, 11:45 AM
Hi there I only had slight kyphosis, not really noticable, but my problem was mainly scoliosis so yeah. I don't know much about hardwear removal but I just wanted to say welcome to the group.
I think there are a couple of people around here who are treated by the same surgeon in Oxford.
Anyway, good luck with writing to your surgeon, I'm sure he'll be able to help you.

Take care,

Lyssie xx

sins
7th August 2008, 01:58 PM
Hi Buffalowilliam and welcome,
Certainly if you are having problems then get referred back to the consultant who put the metal in there.perhaps there's a root cause for this new lower back pain.
Has the physio helped at all with the pain?
Sins

mark
7th August 2008, 02:24 PM
Welcome to SSo, sorry to read about the pain you are in, lets hope your consultant can sort it out

titch
7th August 2008, 06:41 PM
I'm sorry to hear that you're having new problems. Your physio is right that you can develop problems as a result of the muscles not doing so much because of the rods, however, while I think that going back to see Mr Fairbank is absolutely the right thing to do, I would like to point out that in respect of the muscles working or not, having the rods removed is likely to make no difference at all. This is because the fused portion of the spine will remain rigid even without them, so you'll still need to find other ways of exercising the muscles.

Still, between the physio and seeing Mr Fairbanks again, I hope that you are able to get some answers and work out a way forward. Meanwhile, :welcome2:

GillyG
7th August 2008, 08:00 PM
Hi :tiphat:

I'm surprised your physio didn't give you some core stability exercises to help keep the muscles which help support your spine strong and healthy? You could try swimming too, a great all-rounder :) Good idea to call back and see your surgeon though, I'm sure he'll be able to advise you of the best way forward. Let us know how you get on and in the meantime, enjoy the site :D

Kentish
8th August 2008, 03:58 AM
Welcome to SSO. I had my rods removed in January as one had snapped and the other had come loose a few years before. It was the best choice I ever made as overnight I went from constant pain to none at all and 7 months later I'm still totally pain free. The surgery was very easy and 24 hours after surgery the only pain I had was where the staples were sticking into me. I've been slowly increasing the amount of exercise I do and am now able to do over a 1000 step ops, some modified sit ups and plenty of squats a day with no negative effects.

Even though its worked out so well for me having them removed, it doesnt work out so well for everyone so dont see it as a miracle cure. My surgeon didnt think that having them removed would cure all my pain so I've been very lucky. I would say that its definately something to look into but with the risks of catching bugs while having surgery, I would still recommend seeing if your surgeon has any other suggestions first.

Good luck with your appointment.

Buffalowilliam
11th August 2008, 10:25 AM
Thanks for all the messgaes! Physio is helping a bit, I would be a bit more positive but I've just come off a really rough weekend of not getting out of bed very much because of lower back pain. My physio said I've injured one of the disks in my back so I normally get a sort of catching, stabbing pain in my lower back. This weekend it was more a constant ache, really annoying as I woke up with it! Makes me wonder what I do while I'm asleep. Ah well, I read the paper and caught up on sleep and the weather was so terrible I probably wouldn't have gone out that much anyway.

I had one physio appointment after my operation and he said I was fine. To be fair at the time I was super fit and working out a lot (I was desperate to be in amazing shape before I had surgery to help speed the recovery). A few months after the surgery I missed a follow up appointment with Mr Fairbanks and never made another one, so any deterioration in my condition is entirely my fault.

I was doing fine until I injured myself cycling home one night (I was really drunk so my recollection is somewhat hazy!) and couldn't stand up for three days. I didn't see a doctor (unsurprisingly I feel like I've had enough of doctors etc) and my body's natural reaction was to avoid using the muscles I injured and as a result they've wasted. I also had knee surgery at the beginning of the year and had no physio for that (never offered it) and my current physio says my quad on my right leg has wasted so I'm also working on that. I hate physio - you have to concentrate so hard for relatively little effort, feels strange - but I try to focus on the fact that I'm making problems go away and becoming healthier.

Interesting to hear both positive and negative aspects of getting the rods removed, made me think I definitely need to speak to Mr Fairbanks about it and get his thoughts. I seem to remember from when I first had it done he's not very keen on the idea of removing them once they're in but who knows. I really feel like there is significant attrition between where the metal finishes on my spine and the unsupported bit (the rods go from my neck to just above the inward curve of my lower back) and most nights when I lie in bed I have to lie in a variety of different positions before there's a CLUNK and my supported vertebrae click back into alignment with the lower part of my back. Hoping at the very least I can stop that happening!

magnumlady
14th August 2008, 10:19 PM
Ouch that sounds painful, I hope you can get help either from the bar removal or physio.

sally333
14th September 2008, 06:08 PM
Hi-
I myself am having a great deal of pain from my hardware. I have from my kyphosis surgery 36 screws,2 crosslinks and two 1 forth inch rods from T2 to L2. I was also was in a car accident and because of the stress of the hardware have injured the area's above and below the hardware. I have had a second surgery since the car accident and I am waiting for the third surgery to take place. I will after this next surgery be fused,and rodded from C4 or C5 all the way down to L2.
Before the accident I had aproched my surgeon with getting the hardware removed as it is causing me problems and it is also sticking up so far,as in people who look at my back can actually see ware all the screws are and the rods because they are great big bumps that stick out. Everyone who see's my back always says oh-gross what is all that stuff sticking out of your back?
Anyway my doctor told me even though I have several disc fusions(t4/t11) and that he also fused on top of my spine from T2 to L2 he is afraid to remove the hardware as there is to high of a risk that my kyphosis will start to progress again. It is very progressive. So for me it is not an option. I would sure as heck talk to your doctor to make sure there would be no further progressing of your kyphosis before getting your hardware removed. I guess it is really hard on the surgeon when he does remove the hardware as it is all fused with the rest of the vertabra and the hardware and what not. My surgeon said it is harder for him to remove it then it is to put it in. However he said the patients have really no problem as far as pain from the removal and it only caused a slight amount of pain in his other patients he has done it to and that was only from the area ware he cuts them. After the inscion heals the pain is gone. I really jumbled this up. I hope you understand what I was tring to say. Hope it helps you in making your decision.

Buffalowilliam
15th September 2008, 10:00 AM
Thanks Sally, really sorry to hear about all your problems. If there is one thing that joining this group has made me realise is that I've been relatively lucky with my condition and had no real complications.

I don't think my kyphosis was too progressive, reached a point of curvature around when I was 16 and then didn't get much worse after so hopefully that won't be an issue for me. Good news is that having heard nothing since I started this thread I got a letter last week and I have an appointment with Mr Fairbanks on 13th November. Cant wait to hear what he has to say and it'd be nice to have a check up at the very least.

Just come off a weekend of bad back pain ... have been hunched over for most of Friday and Sunday, completely incapable of standing up properly. Annoying as a couple of my friends are emigrating this week and I wanted to spend time with them over their last weekend, but instead it was me and the TV!

Think I'm really going to push hard to have the bars removed. While they have been invaluable over the last three years or so I feel that now they can only cause me trouble (assuming my condition isn't progressive). God knows what impact this'll have on my career. Never had to consider that before, but I'm getting older and not exactly whisking up the career ladder (there's a girl in my office who does the same job as me who is 18, I'm 28 in Nov). Would like to have the surgery and then take 6 months off doing some hardcore yoga and excercise to try and sort out my problems once and for all.

Guess I'll cross bridges when I come to them.

jennyyy92
15th September 2008, 05:31 PM
Oooh, my surgeons mr fairbanks aswell :) having surgery at the JR tomorrow
Sorry to hear you're having alot of pain, i hope you can get it sorted out soon
x

mark
15th September 2008, 07:51 PM
Sorry to read about the pain, i really hope you can find some way to get it under control

Chronic pain is a bummer at the best of times so you take it easy and look after yourself

mark

Little Ali
17th September 2008, 12:40 PM
Hi there,

:welcome2:

I'm sorry to hear about your pain. That sounds nasty! I'm glad you have an appointment. My surgeon is Mr. Fairbank too. He's a very good surgeon.

My advice is to write everything down before you go in and make sure you stress how much pain you're in and how much it's affecting your life.

Good luck! x

Buffalowilliam
18th September 2008, 10:22 AM
Isn't Mr Fairbank the greatest! A friend of mine had a really severe degenerative spine condition, she went to see loads of doctors but none of them could work out what was wrong with her and eventually she ended up in a wheel chair. After about 8 months of being in the chair she got an appointment with Mr Fairbank, he diagnosed her and within thre months she was up and about and hasn't looked back since.

Think I can trust his advice implicitly.

Amazed Jean
18th September 2008, 08:23 PM
Good Luck anyway you decide to go!

pioneer31
16th November 2008, 04:45 PM
I'm reading around various sites, trying to get some 'answers' as to whether rod removal is safe.

Some say yes, some say the fusion mass can continue bending again, some say you can catch MRSA etc

My surgery was 18 years ago and something is protruding at the very top where the fusion ends, it causes muscle irritation (always has done) but it seems worse now and the whole rod seems to be more visible.

Does anyone know if they can just snip a couple of inches off the top of the rod and are there any stats available on the net which state what % of people experience further curving after hardware removal?

madmclw
16th November 2008, 08:39 PM
I'm not entirely convinced that bending CAN continue in the fused area. Remember, its like one mass of bone. That's a bit like your arm bones randomly starting to curve. It is possible that the vert. either side of the fusion could curve, which is probably where that idea came from.

Do be very careful what you read on the internet. Some sites are designed to scare you, usually into paying for some obscure treatment that claims to 'cure' scoliosis. Just be careful.

pioneer31
17th November 2008, 10:12 AM
I'm not entirely convinced that bending CAN continue in the fused area. Remember, its like one mass of bone. That's a bit like your arm bones randomly starting to curve. It is possible that the vert. either side of the fusion could curve, which is probably where that idea came from.

Do be very careful what you read on the internet. Some sites are designed to scare you, usually into paying for some obscure treatment that claims to 'cure' scoliosis. Just be careful.

Thanks madmclw. I have certainly read a few scare stories on the internet.

Surely, either side of the fusion could curve anyway, if it wanted to, rod or no rod?

madmclw
17th November 2008, 10:17 AM
Yes, I guess it could, but it depends how long your rods are I suppose. If your rods are longer than your fusion then maybe not? I don't really know, sorry :woe:

titch
17th November 2008, 10:33 AM
I'm going to differ here slightly - even if you are solidly fused, there are instances in which an unsupported fusion can continue to curve further. Bone is essentially plastic in it's behaviour - over time it can change in accordance with the stresses on it. However, the residual curvature when fused has to be large, and there are also usually other extenuating factor which cause the bone to be less strong than normal (eg bone loss secondary to menopause or other conditions). By far the vast majority of people, even if they have their rods removed, do not have residual curvatures large enough to need to worry about this.

On the other hand, fairly rapid progression, or large increase would probably indicate either a pseudo-arthrosis (a failure to fuse in the first place at one or more levels, or a fracture of an area that was poorly fused), or "adding on" (as Maddy indicated, vertebrae above/below the fusion coming to be involved in extending a residual curvature), or a combination of pseudo-arthrosis and adding on.

For the majority of people, rod removal is safe and a much more minimal procedure than the initial surgery. It's generally not done because in most cases there is no need to go through another surgery, which of course does carry all the same risks as any surgery, related to the general anaesthetic, the risk of infection etc.

madmclw
17th November 2008, 11:13 AM
Ok, sorry titch

titch
17th November 2008, 11:45 AM
Nonono! I didn't mean any need for apology - in the vast majority of cases, you're entirely correct :) I'm just a pedantic so and so :oops: Seriously though, it also concerns me that the sort of scare-mongering sites that you mentioned in your post may well have links to perfectly valid studies which seem to support what they are saying, because they have taken it out of context. I was just trying to make sure that the context was there.

I'm sorry if I came in a bit roughly there - it wasn't what I meant to do! As I say, in the vast majority of cases you are absolutely correct. The only couple of people I have known with documented progression of uninstrumented curvatures were menopausal or at least pre-menopausal women with curves that had been around 80-90 degrees when fused. Nonetheless, being able to point at studies is exactly what the scaremongers do - like the stuff on likely progression of curvature after fusion, it's based on a study that looked at patients up to 2 years after Harrington rod surgery, and is taking out of context the fact that a) it was [in the majority of cases at least - I haven't read the full study so don't know how many, if any, turned out to be due to pseudoarthroses] "settling" and b) it doesn't continue once you're fully fused. My own xrays, while not with a Harrington, are a clear example - my curve was 14 degrees immediately after surgery, and by discharge 2 years later had settled to 28, where it remained for the next several years until I had the second surgery. The sites don't tell you that though, as you know - it's thoroughly devious and underhanded.

Anyway, I'm sorry if I came across / am coming across wrong here!

Cassie
17th November 2008, 03:40 PM
Thought I would add a little to this. Although my surgery was carried out a long time ago, so it was a very different procedure to how it is done now, my fused spine has now lost most of its correction.

I had an uninstrumented fusion back in the 60's and was ok for many years. The last 5 years have been awful with constant back pain and fatigue and this year I was told it had moved and that the curve is progressing (about 50degrees last August) which has caused me a lot of problems below and above the fused section. I don't have psuedoarthrosis, but I do have degenerative changes in my facet joints and discs plus osteoarthitis. I know of a few others who have also lost their initial unistrumented correction. There was a study I read a while back, following up people from the 50/60's who had uninstrumented fusions - I will try to locate it as it was very interesting.

I am due to have revision surgery (instrumented) to correct some of the curve and hopefully that will stop some of the pain.

Good luck to you with your appt., and I hope you get it sorted out and stop the pain - your surgeon sounds really good.
xx:)

pioneer31
17th November 2008, 03:42 PM
I'm not sure what's holding my rod in place, the bottom hook has parted company with it and lies about 2 inches to the right, quite worrying although I was told that it's probably doing no harm and it would be difficult to get out

The top hook is bent and causes some muscle irritation - always has done.

I can't remember how my harrington rod is attached - wires, hooks all the way down or screws. I thought it was just 2 hooks, top and bottom but surely it would have dislodged?

I would prefer it to be out but I'm reading scare stories of MRSA, nerve damage etc

I also don't understand why some surgeons say they can't remove them, do they get welded to your tissue?

tonibunny
17th November 2008, 05:36 PM
I'm not sure if I'm right, but I think that in some cases the metalwork gets very deeply embedded in the bone fusion mass and that makes it dfficult to remove it without actually breaking the bone and causing a lot more trauma than it's worth.

I had my first Harrington implanted in 1986, but I needed to have my fusion lengthened and the rod replaced with a longer one in 1994. I wanted to keep the original rod, but my surgeon told me that they'd had to "cut it into bits" in order to remove it! That surprised me a lot, because Harringtons are only fixed at the top and the bottom (though I had 2 or 3 sublaminar wires for extra fixation too).

I'd still have liked the bits though, they'd have made cool jewellery :D

MOB
17th November 2008, 09:16 PM
Yep Toni you are right in some cases the metalwork can get deeply embedded in the bone fusion mass. Almost immediately after I had my Harrington Rod fusion when I came home from the hosp I was bent over like an old woman I couldnt stand upright after a few weeks I managed to stand more upright but I had to return to the hosp 4 months after the 1st op to have the rod removed. The hook at the top became dislodged and the rod started to bend. I had a replacement Harrington. I didnt have much pain but 2 and a half months later I had to have replacement rod removed the hook at the bottom became dislodged I was also in a lot of pain. I was taken in as an emergency case. I no longer have rods. The fusion put pressure on the unfused bits below my spine a couple of months after I had the replacement rod removed I started with disc problems followed by facet joint problems. My spine has curved a bit below fusion and I have a pseudoarthrosis, sagital imbalance etc. But Im doing ok.

pioneer31
18th November 2008, 11:49 AM
I'm hoping that I can have my rod removed, although I am worried about all the 'further curvature' after rod removal stories. I have a long fusion.

They did tell me that's it's fully knitted but who knows? I do hear cracks and clicks occasionally but can't pinpoint them.

I certainly don't like the idea of a loose rod in there

I would have though that having the hardware out would be better for the majority of people.....

pioneer31
18th November 2008, 12:06 PM
The only couple of people I have known with documented progression of uninstrumented curvatures were menopausal or at least pre-menopausal women with curves that had been around 80-90 degrees when fused. Nonetheless, being able to point at studies is exactly what the scaremongers do - like the stuff on likely progression of curvature after fusion, it's based on a study that looked at patients up to 2 years after Harrington rod surgery, and is taking out of context the fact that a) it was [in the majority of cases at least - I haven't read the full study so don't know how many, if any, turned out to be due to pseudoarthroses] "settling" and b) it doesn't continue once you're fully fused. My own xrays, while not with a Harrington, are a clear example - my curve was 14 degrees immediately after surgery, and by discharge 2 years later had settled to 28, where it remained for the next several years until I had the second surgery.

So, 18 years after surgery, my fusion should have 'settled'? I did notice that my back was totally flat after surgery (no hump) but after a year or so, it did return very slightly and has been the same ever since

titch
18th November 2008, 01:02 PM
It should settle as far as it is going to by 1-2 years after surgery - increase within the fusion area after this time would probably indicate a problem. The reassertion of a certain amount of rib hump is a documented thing that there have been studies done on.

Harringtons are, I believe (well, so it seems from what I have read, and what I have seen on the forums over the years), the only type of hardware where a breakage does not necessarily indicate a pseudoarthrosis. The fact that your back has remained the same shape is a good sign :)

I can see why people think that the rods should be removed, but really in the majority of cases there is just no need to go through another surgery, with all the attendant risks - those risks are low, but unless there is an actual problem, it's just not worth going through them.

pioneer31
18th November 2008, 02:24 PM
It should settle as far as it is going to by 1-2 years after surgery - increase within the fusion area after this time would probably indicate a problem. The reassertion of a certain amount of rib hump is a documented thing that there have been studies done on.

Harringtons are, I believe (well, so it seems from what I have read, and what I have seen on the forums over the years), the only type of hardware where a breakage does not necessarily indicate a pseudoarthrosis. The fact that your back has remained the same shape is a good sign :)

I can see why people think that the rods should be removed, but really in the majority of cases there is just no need to go through another surgery, with all the attendant risks - those risks are low, but unless there is an actual problem, it's just not worth going through them.

I can see that there's no point in going through surgery unneccesarily. In my case I would definitely sleep easier knowing the stray bottom hook and bent top hook ( a source of irritation, which I've lived with) were gone. It's causing me a lot of worry, especially lately, since I did some physio exercises which caused stabbing pains at the top of the rod (it protrudes more than it used to, which concerns me)

This is something I will have to discuss with the surgeon when I meet him. Decide how 'risky' it is to have it out.

Buffalowilliam
27th November 2008, 04:22 PM
Hey, thanks for all the interesting posts about rod removal and other attendant issues. I always think the more you know about something from the greatest variety of sources the better.

I had my appointment a week or so ago. Unfortunately I didn't see Mr Fairbanks as he's now only seeing patients under 15 years of age. Saw his colleague though, Prof Levy, who was very reassuring. Since the Nuffield in Oxford is such a centre of excellence in the field I really don't think its something I need to be concerned about. I had an x-ray and a couple of chats with the professor. He said that as my rods were particularly long (only the bottom three of my vertebrae are capable of movement) there was certainly a case for taking the rods out.

His approach was very cautious to the whole idea and he explained that while it was certainly possible to take the rods out the vast majority of people left them in. He didn't say anything about the possibility of my curvature worsening and I have to confess I forgot to ask directly. I'm taking it from the cautious approach and lack of warning that its not something I need to be overly concerned about (although I still am!). He said I should go away and think about it and if I still decide to go ahead with the operation then he could refer me to a clinic in London (I used to live in Oxford, now London). Reassuringly he said I had no complications from the orginal surgery 3 years ago and that my back had fused fully and was looking fine. He said that the original surgery had a 1-2% chance of nerve damage/paralysis and that the removal surgery the chance dropped to less than half a percent. However, he warned, there is still that possibility and that's something I should think about.

So .... that was about 10 days ago. Had a sobering realisation that I injured my back this year just after I had knee surgery in January and it didn't get better until I was bed ridden following another surgery late in September (all that surgery ... lucky me eh? Not back related). Which means I had chronic back pain for eight months of this year and for two three day periods was entirely bed-ridden and unable to stand. I experienced nothing like that degree of problem pre-surgery. So I'm definitely going to go ahead and have the rods removed. Strangely I'm more worried about this surgery than I was getting them put in. I guess that's because I've had lots of experince of recovery and know the reality of how long and frustrating it can be (six weeks after both my surgeries this year I was climbing the walls in frustration).

Since I'll probably recover at my mothers house, which is mid-way between London and Oxford I might stick with the devil I know and have it done at the Nuffield. MRSA I guess is my only major concern ... plus the usual operational warnings of excessive bleeding, anaesthtic issues.

pioneer31
28th November 2008, 09:18 AM
Hi BuffaloWilliam,

I'd be interested to know how you get on with the surgery. I am tempted to have my rods removed, although they have been in 18 yrs, so it may be a bit more tricky! I'm not scared of the op but am keen to know if there are any complications e.g. tissue scarring etc

Buffalowilliam
28th November 2008, 02:32 PM
I'll let you know pioneer! Haven't even passed on to Prof Levy yet that I intend to have it done so God knows when it might happen. Hopefully not too long.

Buffalowilliam
26th January 2009, 06:41 PM
Hey all ... no progress on the bar removal as yet. having some work issues, might be changing jobs (voluntarily thankfully!) and don't want to burden my new employer with my surgery recovery. Just wondering if anyone had ever heard about scoliosis surgery using coral? Someone told me that there was a new operation you could have where they make the rods or whatever out of coral and your spine grows into the coral?! No metal involved. Anybody heard anythign about it?

madmclw
26th January 2009, 06:54 PM
Coral?! No, I haven't heard of that before. Poke around on the internet and see if you can find anything. Certainly sounds interesting, if a little...weird.

titch
28th January 2009, 06:35 PM
Coral can be used as a grafting material, for example for anterior fusion - normally anterior fusion means removing the disc and inserting a cage or other spacer, to maintain the gap between the vertebrae and also hold in place the fusion material. Coral acts as a structural support as well as being easy for bone to develop around. I think Jonny has coral - you could see these odd structures on an early post op xray, and I speculated at the time that perhaps it was bone dowel (as this is something I've heard of along the way as well), so he asked the surgeon and was quite surprised to be told it was coral :lol:

I'd be very surprised if it could replace metal rods for scoliosis and kyphosis fusions though, because the long fusions need a lot of structural support and I would imagine that coral is too brittle. I could imagine that it might be used as the only structural support in some cases of one or two level fusion for degeneration or disc hernation, with a brace being used to give additional support and immobilisation until fusion has taken place (some one or two level fusions are done this way already, just with standard bone graft and spacers).

Loobylu
23rd April 2009, 01:55 PM
Hello, I'm new to the group and am very happy to have found it! I had an operation on my spine to correct my kyphosis in May 2005. The surgery went very well (Mr. Fairbanks at the Nuffield Orthopaedic/John Radcliffe Hospital(s) in Oxford) and I made a swift recovery ... think I was only in recovery in hospital for five days.

Recently I've been having some lower back problems and my physio says that because of the metal rods in my back the muscles of my torso do no work to stabilise the spine and there is therefore excessive pressure on my lower spine. As a result of this I'm writing to my surgeon to get his advice on having the metal rods removed. I'm planning to have them taken out and then embark on a program of yoga and pilates to hopefully get my spine in the best condition possible.

I was just wondering if anyone had any thoughts on this or could tell me about when they had their rods removed.

Thanks
Hi there! I am also a new member. I was reading about your rod problems. I had a spinal fusion with Harrington rod in April 1985 when I was 18. No probs at all until about 18th months ago. I did go to Oxford Nuffield last November after eventually being referred to specialist to see Mr Wilson Macdonald. I had my first x rays for over 20 years! My rod has detached at the bottom of fusion and is migrating outwards! Hence, prominent lump at bottom of scar, very painful indeed. He suggested physio then review in 6 months time ( I am due to see him in May ). Since my first physio class ( core stability exercises ) I have been in the most pain I have ever had, gradually getting worse and worse and am living on painkillers at the moment. I am hoping that Mr Macdonald will be able to sort something out for me although I am really scared about going through major op again! I would be interested to hear how you are progressing, Lucy:)

Loobylu
23rd April 2009, 02:02 PM
Hi BuffaloWilliam,

I'd be interested to know how you get on with the surgery. I am tempted to have my rods removed, although they have been in 18 yrs, so it may be a bit more tricky! I'm not scared of the op but am keen to know if there are any complications e.g. tissue scarring etc
Hi Pioneer 31, am also new to site and have also got rod problems, ie detached hook at bottom of fusion causing a great deal of pain, feels like it has moved a lot more as a much more prominent lump. I saw Mr Wilson Madonald at Oxford Nuffield last Nov and he suggested physio before seeing him again in 6 mths ( May ). Physio ( core stability ) have made things 100% worse, living on pain killers counting days to my appt and wondering whether I will be advised to have rod taken out. Just wondered how you were coping. Lucy :)

pioneer31
26th April 2009, 07:11 PM
Hi Pioneer 31, am also new to site and have also got rod problems, ie detached hook at bottom of fusion causing a great deal of pain, feels like it has moved a lot more as a much more prominent lump. I saw Mr Wilson Madonald at Oxford Nuffield last Nov and he suggested physio before seeing him again in 6 mths ( May ). Physio ( core stability ) have made things 100% worse, living on pain killers counting days to my appt and wondering whether I will be advised to have rod taken out. Just wondered how you were coping. Lucy :)

Hi LoobyLu,

Sorry to hear about your problems.

You must be the third person who has now told me that "core stability" exercises have made things worse. Mine caused me some trouble (at the top of my rod) strangely enough. It took many many weeks to settle down. I think my physio class was far to 'general' (ie for people with just bad backs) rather than metal rods in them!

I haven't had any problems in that area lately (touch wood) and would not contemplate going back for any more physio. the consultant told me to walk and swim.

It's an entriely personal decision as to whether you get the rod taken out, certainly if it's causing you pain then I'd go for it, as long as you're sure it IS the rod.

I would tell your consultant that you want some PROPER physio for people with spinal fusions and metalwork. I don't know if you've got the same exercises as me (some involve a swiss ball) but I don't like the look of some of them!

Hope you get yourself sorted!