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Thread: surgery revision after fusion

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014

    Default surgery revision after fusion

    my first surgery was at the age of 9 with the harrington rod and fusion. now at the age of 50 i have been diagnosed with ristrictive lung disease due to the scoliosis. my curve is back to 80% again and I am now on oxygen to help my lungs due to the crowding of them from the curve. the docs called it (Crankshaft Phenemonon). I talked to them about surgery to correct my back again so I can breath better, and they were onboard with it and I was happy so I can get off the O2. but my last visit with them, he backed off saying that there is no quarantee that surgery would help my breathing now, and with the fusion that was done, they would have to chip away at all that, take out the rod, put new ones in, that it would be too risky of a procedure for me. Please, has anyone gone through anything like this or having to go on oxygen for this, please advise me because i refuse to stay on the O2 for the rest of my life.

  2. #2
    tonibunny's Avatar
    tonibunny is offline T Sr: Big Sister & Da Police ~ SSO Legend, Always remembered.
    Join Date
    Jan 1970

    Default Re: surgery revision after fusion

    Hi Debz, welcome to SSO

    Crankshaft Phenomenon happens (as you probably know) when the front of the spine continues to grow following a posterior-only fusion in young children of about 10 and under. The back of the spine is tethered into place and growth causes the spine to corkscrew, or crankshaft. It can be avoided by doing an anterior surgery as well as the posterior one, but sadly this probably hadn't been flagged as an issue when you had your surgery.

    I had my first fusion aged ten with a Harrington, 28 years ago - but I had the "two stage procedure" and have had no problems with my thoracic spine since. These days growth-rods have been developed so younger children can avoid fusion until they are older, and Crankshafting is very very rare.

    The procedure to take down a longstanding fusion is usually very complex. Over time, your rods become firmly encased in bone and this means the surgeons have to break that bone away to remove the rods and then try to straighten and stabilise everything. I've known people who have had it done - usually for Flatback deformities - and it is a tough thing to go through, but some surgeons will attempt it if they feel the benefits outweigh the risks. It is VITAL that you are looked after by a surgeon who has experience in complex revision cases. Whereabouts in the world do you live? If you tell us we may be able to guide you to some more help.

    As for using O2, i'm so sorry you're having to deal with this. We have a couple of members who use this daily so you are not alone
    [SIZE="1"]37 years old, diagnosed with infantile idiopathic scoliosis at 6 months old with curves of 62(T) and 40(L) degrees. Casting and Milwaukee braces until surgery at 10 - ant release/pos fusion T1-T12, halo traction. Post op cast and then TLSO. Further surgery at 18 (ant release/pos fusion extended to L3 to include lumbar curve, costoplasty) and 25 (another costoplasty). Fusion extended to L4 at 33 (XLIF with 4 pedicle screws and two short rods). Pre-op curves: 76(T) and 70(L). Post-op curves: 45(T) and 35(L). Diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome aged 34; scoliosis almost certainly due to this rather than being idiopathic.[/SIZE]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Sheffield, UK

    Default Re: surgery revision after fusion

    Hi Debz

    So sorry to hear of your issues. It makes me feel kinda grateful that I 'slipped through the net' as a youngster since otherwise I would almost certainly have suffered from flatback syndrome, due to the position of my curve. I didn't have surgery until 2006, (by which time I was 49!) but at least I got a decent correction with the new style instrumentation.

    I agree with Toni that you should seek the opinion of a scoliosis surgeon who is experienced in complex revisions, anyone else will back away as you will be considered too complex.
    Me, a Mod? Nah ... I'll always be a rocker

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Reno, Nevada USA

    Default Re: surgery revision after fusion

    If you are in the US, Dr Lenke is the guy...he only takes on the toughest cases.....

    Try to hang in there because there is hope....

    Last edited by Rod Stewart; 26th April 2014 at 06:42 PM. Reason: added video

    57 yr old male
    T70 L70 double trouble
    A/P T2-Pelvis BMP Jan 2008

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