Broken screws typically are associated with a lack of fusion (pseudoarthrosis). If the screw breaks off in the vertebra, surgeons can generally accommodate for this complication. If however the screw is compressing a nerve root by being outside the vertebral wall and is “broken off”, this is a more difficult problem to handle.
Most of the time, these broken screws are not compressing a nerve root or you would have had substantial leg pain right after surgery and would have not tolerated this pain.
If any of these screws are not “broken off”, then it is a simple matter to remove and revise the screw position.
Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.