I would shop around for another surgeon or at least 2-3 opinions.
Hardware failure or migration is a known risk of spinal fusion with instrumentation. It is rarely due to faulty surgical technique OR hardware defect, and nobody can tell you why it happened. The body is not made to be immobilized. It is powerful and it will try to move, regardless of what is placed to try to hold it still. Older instruments and procedures were sturdier, but they involved very bulky hardware that frequently caused new/continued pain symptoms and worse side effects. With today's gentler, less invasive techniques and small (yet very strong) implant materials, sometimes they just don't hold their position the way they were intended. Also, fusing multiple levels slightly raises the chances of migration. Repeat surgery is nearly 100% successful in fixing whatever has come loose. Also, the bending of the rod is likely either from your wife moving and the rod bending as it was pulled off the endcap. OR, the surgeon may have decided intraoperatively that a part of the pedicle bone wasn't strong enough to hold the endcap and may have changed its position and thus had to bend the rod to fit to the new position. Or your wife could have had some preexisting scoliosis or rotational position to her spine that required the fixation to curve to fit the natural position of her spine. Please do not assume that there has to be fault assigned to this. It will not make you or your wife feel better about the situation and can easily be fixed. You should probably have the surgery as soon as possible (I'm assuming the hardware was put in there to serve a vital purpose). Other opinions are fine, but I wouldn't expect a different explanation or recommendation. Thought I would ask about the "strap" on the film and if your surgeon can't tell you what it is, that would be cause to seek another practitioner, but otherwise, your situation isn't unique, and can be fixed easily and you have no reason to blame the surgeon, the hardware, or anyone else. It's a routine and relatively minor risk that exists with any fusion. Hope this is helpful. Sorry for your worries. Best of luck.
I had fusion L4-L5-S1 in Feb 2007. I fell down 5 cement stairs on my left side and now I have pain in my left lower back and it hurts to stand and walk. Do I need another x_ray could any of the rods and cages been damaged?
I had a fusion in June 2006 with hardware but no rods. I had an Abbott INFIX cage that they filled with bone from my left hip as well as stabilization screws above and below the vertebrae. I was competely fused after 6 months and they said that is was probably due to my age (I was 20 at the time). I am so sorry that your wife is having this problem. If this were me I would say as long as she feels comfortable with this doctor and feels confident that it was just something that happens with these kinds of surgery, do not waste any time and get this fixed. There are so many risks when we go into these surgeries but it is a risk that me as well as your wife and so many others are willing to take to relieve pain. I hope that your wife feels better.