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  1. #1
    whiplash99 Guest
    Hi My husband had a spinal back fusion done in 1999 - they used screws, rods etc. to weld his back together. In March of 2000, they found out the screw had broken - therefore the fusion is now broken. The thing is the screws and rods etc were all made out of Titanium - the strongest material around - used in the making of space ships, war ships and planes etc. This material is NOT supposed to break - yet it did. Could have had hairline crack in it when put in his body - does he stand a chance at the company who makes it being liable? Going for another surgery to remove the broken screws etc and replaced with new ones - any suggestions?

    Thanks,
    K.
  2. #2
    ADL1989 Guest

    Titanium screws

    I am not an attorney, I am a business manager for a malpractice firm. I too have had a 3 level fusion done with titanium screws/rods/brackets. The situation that I recently found out about was a few of the screws and rods that were sent to hospitals around the country were samples mixed with the titanium the samples were not titanium. This is something you will need to ask his surgeon about. They already offered to replace my work and I don't want to do it again. My original surgery was 14 hrs long and I do not want to go through that again it takes to much out of you. Your husband on the other hand will have to go through it again and you will need to take the screws and rods to a metelergist to find out what metal it is. If it is not titanium then you have a product liability case not a malpractice case, unless the Doctor new and it can be proven that he had knowledge of the fact and went ahead with it anyways. Remember this first your husbands surgeon saved your husband and gave him back to you without all the pain he originally had, my surgeon to me was a hero because he gave my life back to me. You need to find a very good lawfirm to handle product libility and malpractice cases this would be the place to start. Then talk to the surgeon and ask him/her what the possibilities are for the wrong screws. Then I would seek a metalergist so he can test the defective screws, now it is possible that the screws were not made right again this falls on product liability. You take care and goodluck.
  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Posts
    52
    I'm an engineer and screws will not break unless it had a huge side load on the screws. this could be due to the surgeon inability to put the screw straight. look at the X rays see if the screw did not go in straight cause that could be your problem. it could be defective screw but unlikely since the manufacturing process puts a tremendous amount of load on these screws and I dough if human back can generate that much load.
  4. #4
    whiplash99 Guest

    Titanium Screws in Back ....broken -defective?

    Hi! I don't understand by the screws might not be straight. Do you mean that they were threaded crooked or actually put in his body crooked? In all of his X-rays it shows the screws and other rods etc all coming in at different angles. We were so shocked to learn that the screw had broke since the material was titanium - and no one has any answers. Went and saw specialist and found out that now the other screw on the right side has a hairline fracture through it! Unbelievable! Now needs another surgery (his 4th) and this one will be done posterior and anterior (back and front open surgery) We will be requesting the broken screws and bringing them to a metalologist as suggested in the first post. There has to be a reasonable reason WHY it broke in the first place. The thought that it may have been a sample scares the heck out of us! Does anyone know of any lawsuits pending re. this type of thing?
    Thanks K.
  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Posts
    52
    look at the angle of the crew in relation to the metal piece. I'm assuming that there is flat head screw going though a piece of metal first and the bone second. if the screw head is flat or flush with metal piece and the screw is at an angle other than 90deg then you have a huge bending force due to side load. in other word the head of the screw must be at 90 deg in relation to the center of the threads. this is assuming the screw failed right under the head. It is difficult to address this with out seen the screws and the Xrays. but if you show the screws to metallurgist they will be able to tell you the failure mode in few minutes.
  6. #6
    goldieha is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    1

    Help me please

    I had my first back surgery Sep 11 08 6 titanium screw 4 pins a fusion and fractures filled in with cadaver bones well my screw on L5 broke in Dec 08 went back in surgery on Jan 09 to replace broken screw with larger one 2 weeks ago I was feeling alot of pain AGAIN went to my Doctor Friday July 31 08 he took an xray when he came through the door he was very upset that the screw he replaced had broke He asked if i had fallen I said no he is very upset I started crying and he said well why r u crying how do you think I feel he is scheduling a CT scan he said the bone did not break the screw did and that in his 20 years plus he has never ever seen or heard of this I have the 1st screw they took out and I will get this one please somebody tell me why this happen the doctor himself who is a nuerologist surgeon has never heard of anything like this I am very scared what should I do
  7. #7
    ShyCat is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
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    Necroposting and hijacking another poster's thread are frowned upon here. Please post your own thread and include the name of your state. U.S. law only.
  8. #8
    Ultranothing is offline Member
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    56
    Quote Originally Posted by ShyCat View Post
    Necroposting and hijacking another poster's thread are frowned upon here. Please post your own thread and include the name of your state. U.S. law only.
    Bumping old or inactive ("dead") threads is occasionally called "necroposting" or "thread necromancy", and the bumped posts referred to as "frankenposts". "Dead" threads that are reawakened are often called "thread necros". People who resurrect old threads are often called "threadomancers".

    You internet people are just fanTASTIC!

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