Rod Breakage and Pseudoarthrosis

Rod breakage and pseudoarthrosis are two complications that can occur following surgery for adult spinal deformity.

Rod breakage refers to the fracture or failure of the rods that are used to provide stability and support to the spinal fusion construct. It can happen due to factors such as mechanical stress, chronic infection, implant failure, or inadequate fusion. Rod breakage can lead to loss of spinal alignment, pain, and impaired function.

Pseudoarthrosis, on the other hand, refers to the failure of the fused bone segments to properly heal and form a solid bone union. It can result from factors such as poor bone quality, inadequate immobilization, infection, or disruption of blood supply to the fused area. Pseudoarthrosis can lead to instability, persistent pain, rod fracture, and limited mobility.

To address rod breakage and pseudoarthrosis, surgeons may employ various strategies. One approach is the use of multiple-rod constructs in spinal fusion surgeries. Studies have suggested that using multiple rods instead of traditional 2-rod construct can prevent rod breakage and improve fusion rates. The increased stability provided by the multiple-rod construct helps distribute forces and reduces stress on individual rods, decreasing the risk of breakage. Additionally, adequate immobilization and supportive postoperative care are important to promote proper bone healing and reduce the risk of pseudoarthrosis.


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