Mike asked in HealthOther - Health · 9 years ago

How does a titanium plate break?

I saw questions on here about the possibility of titanium rods breaking, which was responded to as being 2-5% chance. Someone commented that if it did or a screw came out you would be so rich. My fusion is done for three levels in my neck with a titanium plate and 6 screws, it was done through a VA hospital which is my only health care aside from Medicare coverage. Over the holidays I had new pain in my right side of my neck (stabbing pain), as well as between my shoulder blades.

As I go to the VA it took me calling over a three week period to get a return call to even set an appointment. I saw my Doctor this Monday 01/23/2012 and explained the new pains and asked for an MRI. He made an offhand comment about how I want to jump right to the most expensive test, but did order X-Rays, which I expected would be several weeks out.

However, the X-Ray peeps called me Wednesday and set an appointment for yesterday. After shooting both cervical and lumbar they told me the Doc wanted the radiologist to review right away and for me to wait. The technician came out a few minutes later and told me the Doc wanted to see me right away. Stating that was not a good sign, I asked her what the prob was but of course she was unable to say. I mentioned that it had to be a screw loose or problem with the plate and got a slight nod.

The VA clinic the Doc is in is about 10 miles from where the X-Ray clinic is so I went there, pretty much knowing whatever category the problem fell into, I was in for an immediate neck brace and future surgery to repair/replace. I was dumbfounded to learn that it was not a screw but the plate had completely broken in half. The Doc ordered a consult for Ortho, for surgical consult and MRI (told him so) at the VA in Ashville, NC which is nearly 4 hours from where I live. Best scenario, is the consult, MRI and surgery can be done in one trip. Worst scenario and most likely is it will be weeks if not months before I even have an appointment set. Meanwhile I am walking around with broken metal poking here and there in my neck.

Going to be rich? Not gonna happen, just a service member cannot sue the government for any wrong doing/malpractice, I do not have any recourse for a titanium plate breaking in less than 12 years time. No chance of a better out look for me or millions of other VETS though, just saw the news of 500 BILLION plus being gutted from defense beginning almost immediately. Surely, the Veterans Adminstration which is already overburdened, understaffed and under budgeted will not fair well in the fall out of that either.

Get to your Senator/Representative/President and kindly ask them to quit screwing over the military/veterans that have served in good faith with expectations and promises they would be provided for afterwards. This goes way beyond the BS of OBLAME-A stating the military should pay for its own healthcare (as we volunteered) and other stupidity he has uttered regarding the military/veteran populations and over all national defense. How much is enough?

We have a saying throughout the Disabled American Veterans, of which I am a lifetime member. ALL GAVE SOME, SOME GAVE ALL. All we ask is that American government honor the commitments that they made to us and we paid for fully with blood, sweat and tears.

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  • 9 years ago
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    I am so sorry that you're being treated the way you are from the government...I want you to know that I THANK you for serving in the armed forces...My heart has always gone out to the vets. The vets have done their job, now the government needs to get their asses in gear and do whats right!

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