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What's done if . . .?

Started by Wesley Ellis on 05/16/2018 1:29pm

I'm in my mid-eighties, otherwise good health. Seven weeks ago I had lower back spinal fusion for degenerative spine disease, spinal stenosis. The doctor says that X-rays seem to show that some of the hardware has moved slightly, causing pain. If so, what recourse do I have?

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Hello, Wesley Ellis--thank you for your question. Problems with spinal fusion hardware are among the complications of spinal fusion surgery ( Nerve, Fusion, and Implant Complications of Spine Surgery ). Most likely, the informed consent form that you signed before surgery to agree to the procedure included hardware risks, so your recourse options may be limited, if any.

People who experience hardware problems after spinal fusion are faced with the option of leaving the problematic hardware in place or having a second surgery to remove it. You can read more about that decision here: ( Spinal Fusion Instrumentation Removal: Pros and Cons ).

We are sorry you've had to go through this. Recovering from spinal fusion is hard enough--when you couple hardware problems on top of it, it can be a very disheartening and challenging experience. Our best advice is to keep communication lines open with your surgeon. Together, you can discuss the best options for next steps and what you can do to manage the pain, if you keep the hardware in place. We wish you the very best.

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