Discussions By Condition: Medical Stories

Pain in femur with titanium rod

Posted In: Medical Stories 2 Replies
  • Posted By: Bionic mom
  • June 8, 2011
  • 05:41 PM

I would appreciate any thoughts or feedback. I was involved in a near fatal automobile accident on 12/31/02. As a result, I required nearly 10 hours of surgery to repair two badly broken legs and L forearm. During my recovery, my L femur was the most painful of my broken bones. However, since it healed, it has been the injury that has never caused any further issues/pain. Well, that is up until about 6 months ago when my femur started aching. Over the past few months, it has progressed to aching pretty much constantly. This is puzzling since my other injuries, which used to be the source of pain/discomfort on a pretty regular basis, have improved incredibly since my family moved to a desert climate a few years ago. My L femur was the least severely broken bone as it was a "clean" break, whereas my R ankle was crushed (the joint required bone grafts), and the bones in my L forearm were shattered (literally in pieces). So why should my femur be bothering me all of a sudden, when the other bones that were more seriously injured and used to hurt all the time, are now doing incredibly well due to the dry climate where I now live? I saw an orthopedic last week and x-rays showed that the hardware in my femur is all perfectly in place. So, now I had a bone scan done yesterday on my femur. I have the films from the bone scan, but have no idea what I'm looking at. There is one area on the bone where the bone is noticeably quite a bit darker than the bone above or below (by its location it looks like it is probably the site where the bone was broken back in '02). However, I'm not sure what that means. I've seen some bone scan images on a medical site, but the problem areas such as bone cancer were indicated by a black spot. The spot on mine is just very dark grey (not black) compared to the light grey of the rest of the bone.
I follow up with my orthopedic tomorrow. I am wondering what I should do if I find out that the bone scan didn't reveal any problems. I'm assuming that the scan is not going to show some horrific problem like bone cancer and since my hardware is fine, I'm afraid that the scan won't shed any light on the source of my pain. I have been told that removing the rod from my femur is an option, and although rare, I know that the hardware can sometimes bother people. Most of the posts that I have found from people who've actually gone ahead and had the rod removed from their femur are from individuals whose rod had been in place for a shorter time (I'm coming up on 9 years with mine in). Don't get me wrong, I am not excited about the prospect of surgery- I know it won't be easy, particularly since from what I've read, bone bonds really well to titanium. However, if removing the rod would take away the pain I'm currently experiencing (after recovering from the removal surgery, of course) then it would be well worth it! I'm a mom of two young children-ages 1 1/2 & 5 who I want to be able to be active with and I cannot imagine living with this current level of pain every day from here on out. I would appreciate any thoughts, feedback, etc. Thank you in advance :-)

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  • So, I saw my orthopedic today. The dark grey spot on my femur was just where the fracture was back in '02. My orthopedic is really starting to wonder if the problem is neurological. I had experienced some neurological problems with the same leg in '01. I ended up at the ER after having really painful sensations in my leg for several days in a row which were so bad I had been unable to sleep. The ER Dr. said that I must have Shingles, but that the rash just hadn't appeared yet. The rash never did appear and I went to a Neurologist who was puzzled, but tried to get to the bottom of what was going on by ordering blood work, an MRI and finally, I had a spinal tap. None of the test results provided any clue as to what was going on. Eventually the pain subsided, but there was a patch on my leg where I had lost feeling (on my skin) that remained, and in fact, I have never regained sensation in that area to this day. So, I am starting Neurontin 300 mg 3x's a day in hope that it will not only provide some relief from the pain that I've been experiencing, but also give some insight into whether the pain is nerve-related or not. I have taken Neurontin for nerve pain in the past (75% severed ulnar nerve from car accident) and it has really helped. The only undesirable side effect I've experienced in the past is mental foggy-ness and I'm hoping that will be the extent of the negative side effects this time around as well. I am also going to have some blood work done to see if it indicates any inflammation. Once I've had the blood work done and obtained the records from one of the neurologists I saw in the past, I will be following up with my orthopedic again although he anticipates referring me to a new neurologist. I just really want to get to the bottom of what is going on!
    Bionic mom 2 Replies Flag this Response
  • I would appreciate any thoughts or feedback. I was involved in a near fatal automobile accident on 12/31/02. As a result, I required nearly 10 hours of surgery to repair two badly broken legs and L forearm. During my recovery, my L femur was the most painful of my broken bones. However, since it healed, it has been the injury that has never caused any further issues/pain. Well, that is up until about 6 months ago when my femur started aching. Over the past few months, it has progressed to aching pretty much constantly. This is puzzling since my other injuries, which used to be the source of pain/discomfort on a pretty regular basis, have improved incredibly since my family moved to a desert climate a few years ago. My L femur was the least severely broken bone as it was a "clean" break, whereas my R ankle was crushed (the joint required bone grafts), and the bones in my L forearm were shattered (literally in pieces). So why should my femur be bothering me all of a sudden, when the other bones that were more seriously injured and used to hurt all the time, are now doing incredibly well due to the dry climate where I now live? I saw an orthopedic last week and x-rays showed that the hardware in my femur is all perfectly in place. So, now I had a bone scan done yesterday on my femur. I have the films from the bone scan, but have no idea what I'm looking at. There is one area on the bone where the bone is noticeably quite a bit darker than the bone above or below (by its location it looks like it is probably the site where the bone was broken back in '02). However, I'm not sure what that means. I've seen some bone scan images on a medical site, but the problem areas such as bone cancer were indicated by a black spot. The spot on mine is just very dark grey (not black) compared to the light grey of the rest of the bone. I follow up with my orthopedic tomorrow. I am wondering what I should do if I find out that the bone scan didn't reveal any problems. I'm assuming that the scan is not going to show some horrific problem like bone cancer and since my hardware is fine, I'm afraid that the scan won't shed any light on the source of my pain. I have been told that removing the rod from my femur is an option, and although rare, I know that the hardware can sometimes bother people. Most of the posts that I have found from people who've actually gone ahead and had the rod removed from their femur are from individuals whose rod had been in place for a shorter time (I'm coming up on 9 years with mine in). Don't get me wrong, I am not excited about the prospect of surgery- I know it won't be easy, particularly since from what I've read, bone bonds really well to titanium. However, if removing the rod would take away the pain I'm currently experiencing (after recovering from the removal surgery, of course) then it would be well worth it! I'm a mom of two young children-ages 1 1/2 & 5 who I want to be able to be active with and I cannot imagine living with this current level of pain every day from here on out. I would appreciate any thoughts, feedback, etc. Thank you in advance :-)Hi Bionic Mom,I am in pain management and have been for 11 years. I was broken in half sideways in 1972 in a car accident. Methylb12 and Metafolin reduced the neurological and other pain significantly. I had been taking Dilantin for a decade and was able to discontinue it. I had been taking 2400mg of ibuprofen for a couple of decades and was able to discontinue it. I was able to reduce morphine by 40% and still have better pain control. It requires more than the two vitamins by themselves and it has to be the right brands taken in the most effective way. I have a life again after decades of misery.
    Freddd 3576 Replies Flag this Response
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