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Thread: Rods and screws in spine

  1. #1

    Rods and screws in spine

    Does Everyone who had decompression surgery have rods put in their back? I know I have an "orif" and the surgeons report says they fused T11-T12 to fix a burst fracture at T12. All I can really understand is that there are screws and a hip graph. Does that mean that I have rods too? Is that why my back is always in so much pain?

  2. #2
    I meant T11-L1.

  3. #3
    I bet you have 2 little rods that span T11 to L1. Attached to these rods are pedicle screws that fixate your vertebral bodies.
    One thing you could do, Nathan, would be to look at your xrays and check out your hardware. It is your medical record.
    Back pain is unfortunately complicated. It can be due to many different things, not necessarily the rods. It is rarely due to the presence of the rods. If you are always in pain, the best thing to do is to talk to your physician (spine surgeon or physiatrist) about it and see if he/she can identify what it is coming from. If they are not interested in helping you, you need to find a spine surgeon who is interested.
    Good luck to you.

  4. #4
    Nathan, as the Adog is describing TLIF nad PLIF hardware which usually adds cages between the vertebrae to provide proper lordosis (curvature).

    ORIF more typically uses a plate with pedicle screws and I don't know for sure about the cages for spacing and lordosis, i think you need your surgeon to detail the hardware or look at an xray.

    You don't mention when the surgery was done, and may still be healing, 12-18 months.

    Finally, you don't describe any specific nerve damage determined pre surgery.

    To get the best answers you'll need to discriminate and describe the various types of pain associated with back/spinal injuries.

    I typically talk mechanical, nueorpathic pain and central pain. All have different treatments and all have degrees of management.

    You're asking a typical "how long is a piece of string" generality question.

    I personally don't know anyone who has had a spinal ORIF and it may have its own particular issues.

    My son had a PLIF with no spinal cord damage and subsequently had the hardware removed and is totally fine.

    I had 2 TLIF surgeries (hardware rarely removed from this procedure, would be extremely complex and dangerous) all hardware intact but had Cauda Equina damage so suffer all three types of pain I mentioned above. My surgical pain took almost a year to dissipate but unfortunately I have Cauda Equina damage and no pain relief for that.

    Good luck.




  5. #5
    Senior Member McDuff's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Dallas area, Tx
    Don't know any tech terms; but I think the lower breaks get rods, and high breaks get cages.

    I have a T10 burst fracture, and have 2 rods, one on each side, that go from T8-T12, with screws attaching them. They harvest bone from your hip to piece into spine at the broken spot. This bone will fuse with other bone to make a solid section instead of flexible one, at the break. The rods are put in to stabilize your spine until this fusion happens. It is possible to have your rods removed after a year or so when fusion is done. But it is major surgery and unless it can be proven specifically that the rods are causing the pain, they usually don't remove them.

    As others said, it's hard to tell "what" is causing your pain. It will take a lot of experimenting to find, seating position, cushion, all kinds of things can play into it. Hope you find some relief.
    "a T10, who'd Rather be ridin'; than rollin'"

  6. #6
    When they put rods in my back , the x-rays show everything.
    oh well

  7. #7
    I had a couple of rods put in my neck along with the fusion from C-4 to c-6. Here is the x-rays:

    C-5/6, 7-9-2000
    Scottsdale, AZ

    Make the best out of today because yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come. Nobody knows that better than those of us that have almost died from spinal cord injury.

  8. #8
    I'm L3-4-5 and have rods, cages, spacers. no pics today.


  9. #9
    Thanks to all whom replied. I just had an xray 2 days ago (due to a broken ankle) !!!!!!!!!! and saw two rods in my back. Suppose that answered that question.
    Do you all have pain in your back from the rods? Anyone have them taken out? I am afraid to do that...... should I be?
    Isn't sci a wonderful thing!

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    South West TEXAS
    I am T12 I have a cage,rods & screws, but no pain in my back 3.5 months post. I hope you find out what is causing the pain.

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