Pedicle Screw Failure
A Common Cause of FBSS
Pedicle screws are regularly used in spinal fusion surgery, especially lumbar fusion. The screws are placed both above and below the fused vertebrae and attached to a rod to add support for the spine as it heals and prevents any movement that may affect the healing process.
These screws are a valuable tool to prevent healing. But according to research from Dr. James L. Chappuis, the most common pedicle screws used by spine surgeons loosen or break over time. If pedicle screws loosen, it may result in new or worsening back pain, leading to failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS).
How to Treat Pedicle Screw Failure
When you have failed back surgery as a result of pedicle screw failure, whether the screw loosened or the screw broke, treatment requires an understanding of the structural issues surrounding the screws.
In some cases, the screws can simply be removed and the pain will subside. If your spinal fusion surgery was a success, and the pedicle screws have not caused any nerve compression or damage, removal may be all you need to eliminate the back pain.
But a thorough diagnosis from an expert in pedicle screws and failed back surgery is strongly recommended before undergoing any type of procedure. An evaluation can find issues that may require different treatment, such as:
- Maligned Screws
- Failed Fusion
- Other FBSS Cause/Misdiagnosis
Although the loosening of pedicle screws is common, it may be difficult to differentiate the pain from pedicle screws from other forms back and leg pain. Loosened pedicle screws can also cause the symptoms of pseudoarthrosis, as well as nerve compression, complicating the diagnosis. That is why medical imagery and a full examination is necessary.
Receive a Diagnosis from Dr. James L. Chappuis
Dr. Chappuis is one of the foremost experts in pedicle screws and failed back surgery syndrome. He himself has invented and holds patents in new types of pedicle screws that meet the biomechanical requirements necessary to prevent screw loosening and breakage.
Although based in Atlanta, Dr. Chappuis, Dr. Petilon, and their team see patients from throughout the United States, providing a comprehensive exam and successful treatment options to eliminate pedicle screw failure pain. For more information about our doctors and Spine Center Atlanta, please call today at 404-351-5812.