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spineadvisor: Neck & Back Pain eNewsletter from SpineUniverse.com
spineuniverse.com November 12, 2008
Ask The Experts
Broken Surgical Screw in Spine
Should it be removed?
Ask the Experts Question

Question:
I have rods and screws in my lower back from a spine surgery three years ago.  We just found out that one of the screws is broken.  Should I be alarmed about this?  The fusion has successfully healed, and I’m not having any pain, but do I need to get the rods and screws removed?
—Seattle, WA

Ask the Experts Answer

Answer:
You can better understand what’s going on in your back if you think of a construction project—specifically a road paving project.

Have you ever seen a road crew just getting ready to pour the concrete?  There are a lot of steel bars and wires on the roadbed already, creating a mold for the concrete.  All those steel parts are held in place by the concrete.

The rods and screws in your low back are kind of like the "hardware" in a road.  Once you have full fusion—meaning the vertebrae have healed and are stabilizing the spine—the rods and screws are enmeshed in the "concrete" of your bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

So even if one of your screws is broken, it’s still…

Read Complete Answer

Nicola V. Hawkinson, RN, ANP This Week's Expert
Nicola V. Hawkinson, RN, RNFA, NP
Adult Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
NYU—Hospital for Joint Diseases
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New Research
Fibromyalgia Study: It's a Real Disease

Fibromyalgia Study: It's a Real DiseaseWe don't know exactly what causes fibromyalgia, but now, thanks to French researchers, we have a clue. Fibromyalgia may be related to abnormal blood flow in specific areas of the brain.

Learn more details about the study and what this means for fibromyalgia sufferers in this article.

View Article
Back Pain Recovery
Avoid Weight Gain When You Have Back Pain
Avoid Weight Gain When You Have Back Pain

It's a vicious cycle: you injure your back, so you stop exercising—even just a little bit of activity hurts you.

It's a double whammy: Without the physical activity, your muscles weaken and can't support your spine as well as they should. And you gain weight, which can lead to more back pain.

But you can avoid the vicious cycle of back pain. Read how here.

View Article

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Spinal Fracture Treatment Option

If you have a spinal fracture, there are treatment options. Pain relievers can help relieve the discomfort caused by a spinal fracture, but they do nothing to address the fracture itself.  In fact, treatment with pain relievers alone allows the fracture to heal in a permanently deformed state.

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Women & Back Pain
A Pregnant Pause:
Real help for pregnancy-related back pain

It's no surprise that almost every pregnant woman has back pain—that's a lot of extra weight putting a strain on your back!

This article has a good list of activities to avoid, and you know what? Carrying groceries is in there. Looks like you can check grocery shopping off your to-do list for the next 9 months...

Learn More
Common Conditions:
Back Pain
Neck Pain
Degenerative Disc Disease
Herniated Discs
Kyphosis
Low Back Pain
Osteoporosis/Spinal Fracture
Sciatica
Scoliosis
Spinal Stenosis
Spondylosis
Spondylolisthesis
Whiplash
Other Back Problems A-Z
Back Pain Videos
Back Pain Videos
Clinical Trials
Expand Your Knowledge about Clinical Trials

View all active Clinical Trials
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