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A 30-year-old member asked:

I have a fusion at l4-l5 i have a broken screw and another screw that appears to be backing out is there any way to fix my issue ?

1 doctor answer7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Chintan Sampat
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 18 years experience
Yes: You need to determine why the screw broke and the other is backing out. Most likely, you have a pseudoarthrosis (meaning the fusion did not heal). Another surgery may be needed to help re-fuse the area. I recommend evaluation by a spinal surgeon.
Dr. Jonathan Hyde
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 29 years experience
Spinal surgeons look at fusions as a race between bony union and failure of fixation. If the bone doesn't heal, a psuedoarthrosis develops leading to higher stress at the screw/bone interface. That eventually leads to a failure of fixation, seen as broken hardware (can include the screws/rods), loosening of the screws, backing out of the screws, and pain. Revision surgery may be needed.
Jan 26, 2012

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Last updated Oct 3, 2016

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