Pedicle screws are a well-known problem in the world of spine surgery. Dr. James L. Chappuis of Spine Center Atlanta was co-author of a paper on the biomechanics of pedicle screw loosening, and he and his colleague found that pedicle screws frequently loosen over time. Dr. Chappuis has also found in his research that pedicle screws can:
- Push on Nerve Roots
- Shift and Move
Dr. Chappuis even holds patents in more effective, long-lasting Fenestrated pedicle screws that are being integrated into the spine surgical community to help avoid FBSS.
These pedicle screw issues can be more than an inconvenience. In some cases, they may be the cause of serious back, leg, or neck pain. This is one of the most well-known causes of failed back surgery syndrome, or FBSS.
Repair For Pedicle Screw Problems
Pedicle screws have played an important role in the improvement of spinal fusion outcomes. But pedicle screw problems can also create pain. If that is the case, pedicle screw repair surgery may be necessary.
Pedicle screw revision surgery differs depending on the type of pain, the cause of the pain, and what your surgeon believes will provide the best outcome. But in most cases, all that is necessary is screw removal. Pedicle screws are not necessary for your spinal fusion to “keep.” They are simply there to hold the bone in place, and once the bone has healed, they are only left inside because they do not do any damage.
But if the screw breaks and it causes pain, simply removing the screw or the broken remnants should be enough to prevent any additional pain. Any other hardware, such as rods or other screws, can still be left in place without issue.
Other Treatments for Pedicle Screw Repair
If your surgeon determines a pedicle screw is necessary, the screw may be replaced using a thicker screw to help stabilize the spine further. You may also be recommended certain medications that make healing less painful, especially if the broken or loosened screw was near a nerve.
However, in most cases, proper and thorough screw removal is all you need.
To determine if you are a candidate for pedicle screw removal, or if you require some other form of treatment for your failed back or neck surgery, please do not hesitate to call us today at 404-351-5812. Dr. Chappuis, Dr. Petilon, and the team at Spine Center Atlanta are considered nationally recognized experts in pedicle screws and failed back surgery syndrome, seeing patients not only in Atlanta but throughout the United States. Please contact us today to learn more.