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Thread: How does it feel having screws and rod on your back?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Default How does it feel having screws and rod on your back?

    I'm having surgery next month for thoracic scoliosis

    Its not really the surgery i'm afraid of..its just that it seems so unnatural having something like a rod inside you for life....

    I could really become depressed after surgery with that thought because its life changing...

  2. #2
    tonibunny's Avatar
    tonibunny is offline T Sr: Admin, Big Sister and Da Police!
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    Default Re: How does it feel having screws and rod on your back?

    Hiya, welcome to SSO

    The vast majority of people cannot feel the metalwork inside their backs once they have healed from the surgery, and moving with a fused spine becomes so normal that they are able to forget that they ever had surgery. This is particularly true of people who have a thoracic-only fusion, as there is actually very little range of movement in the thoracic spine to begin with.

    I hope this helps to reassure you a little if you are very unsure though, maybe it would be best to wait awhile before having surgery? It is a big surgery to have, and it definitely helps to feel as certain as possible about things before going ahead with it.
    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.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: How does it feel having screws and rod on your back?

    I don't notice mine at all now
    Me, a Mod? Nah ... I'll always be a rocker

  4. #4
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    Default Re: How does it feel having screws and rod on your back?

    I've only had mine in for 5 weeks, I can't feel it at all. The only pain I am getting is from the soft tissue healing, muscles and nerves reconnecting etc. The only time I remember that I have metalwork is when I bend a certain way and I can't!!
    I'm 44, I had a scoliosis: thoracic at 49 degrees, lumbar 47 with severe rib rotation. My surgery took place on 28th March 2014, I have 26 screws and 2 titanium rods.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Default Re: How does it feel having screws and rod on your back?

    It is life changing, not necessarily in a bad way.

    It depends on how ur pre op curve affects ur life. For me I was able to function less and less before surgery- my back would ache so much I couldn't get through the day. Now with being straighter I can handle alot more work. Less than a "normal" person still but more than before

    I do understand what u mean by life changing in a depressing way. The other day I was wishing that I could curl up in bed like I used to or perform yoga poses or feel ok knocked around by waves.

    It does feel like u can really feel the screws in the beginning. It goes away abit but to me it does still feel "tight". I can look mostly normal but I do struggle abit still if I try and sit on ground or put on certain types of shoes.


    Thats just my experience-some people seem to feel completely normal afterwards. Like Tony said-it would be good to think hard about the benefits/downs sides to the surgery.

    Ange

  6. #6
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    Default Re: How does it feel having screws and rod on your back?

    I think age is a big factor and of course the longer the fusion the more impact it has on your movement. I had mine done when I was almost 45 and I had a severe 72 degree curve with a lot of pain-I have been told that the more pain pre op the more likely you will have some pain post op. Unfortunately for me I'm in quite a lot of pain, my back feels tight and I can feel 'digging' which I'm presuming is the metalwork, because of the shape of my spine I have protruding screws that are uncomfortable. Sometimes I feel down with the pain I'm still in but I don't regret having it done. I'm beautifully straight, my hump has gone and I dont have to worry about progression. My surgeon said my op was huge and the amount of metalwork I have plus how long I carried my curve for is probably why I have pain. I've been offered removal but I'm not sure I want to risk re curving, its something I'm taking my time with.

    Everyone's experience is different so of course you mustn't worry too much about what you have read. If your unsure perhaps you could hold off for a while? When my op date came I really wanted to have it and my positivity is what got me through-positivty is something you have to have with an operation as big as this.
    Thoracic 72 degrees, lumber 30 degrees-fused aged 44, T2-L4, posterior fusion with costoplasty (8 ribs were chopped) on 3/11/10 under the care of Mr Ahmed at North Staffs Hospital. Now nice and straight

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Default Re: How does it feel having screws and rod on your back?

    I honestly never ever feel them at all unless I twist myself too much reaching for something or anything like that, then it's a sort of slight discomfort but never painful x

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