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REMOVAL OF HARDWARE AFTER SPINE FUSION

Started by BriannasMommy on 03/25/2010 7:37am

I AM LOOKING FOR ANY INFORMATION ABOUT SURGERY TO REMOVE SURGERY YEARS AFTER A SPINALFUSION.. CAN ANYONE ASSIST ME WITH WHERE TO LOOK FOR ANSWERS? SO FAR I HAVE NOT FOUND ANYTHING HERE. THE DR STATES IT SHOULD BE REMOVED BECAUSE ITHAS SERVED IT'S PURPOSE. IS THIS A VERY PAINFUL SURGERY,HOW LONG IS THE SURGERY AND RECOVERY?

I DON'T SEE HIM AGAIN UNTIL NEXT MONTH BUT HE HIMSELF HAS NOT GIVEN ME ANY INFO.

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Hey everybody! I have a question. I got hurt on my job in June 2012. Herniated L4/L5. I had a decompression in August with no success! I had a spinal fusion in Dec 2012. I have had severe pain since my fusion. I have to lay down every 2 hours along with Dialudid to even get a little relief. I started running fever Jan 23, 2013. I called and reported this to the nurse and said it was nothing to worry about, that it was probably my body trying to reject the hardware. Then on Feb 13th, I went to dr and he acted like he didn't know I had been running fever. Labs were drawn and revealed an elevated SED rate and CRP, so dr ordered an MRI. I had that today and go to dr tomorrow. The pain has really taken over my life and it is terrible. I am on workman's comp and it seems like the dr doesn't have time to listen to me. I am worse now than the day I walked in to have the fusion. When I walk and put pressure on my left leg, it feels like something is being rammed up my spine. Has anyone had such severe after a fusion? I need advice please. My dr doesn't take the time to listen. My children and I have been staying with my parents for 8 months now due to me being unable to go up my steps. I am so ready for some relief and get my life back! Thanks in advance!

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And wondering if my body could be allergic to the hardware that was put in? Thanks.

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@back4more, I know this thread is old, but in all my time on forums you are the only person who has had more than my 10 spine surgeries, that I found. I am fused from C3/T2 with hardware, and low back twice as well. Your responce were correct in my opinion also. If anyone has more info, I have a question. I have inflamation in my blood, it was found from regular blood work my doctor does for maintenance, heart and blood pressure. Other than this inflamation I have perfect blood work. He mentioned about dental inflamation, witch it isn't I have had dentures for quite a few years. I'm just wondering about the inflamation being caused from screws and hardware from my rods in my neck installed about 5 years ago. I don't know if anybody has info I would like you in put. Thanks

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To all that responded TO MY QUESTION MY START OF POST THANK YOU. As you can see it was taken over by many other questions and comments and comments....... I am going in for surgery AGAIN and I will say, the last post I was in pain THIS POST I AM IN SO MUCH PAIN I CANNOT FUNCTION FOR LONG. I want to post now well wishes for all on here. This life sure sucks.

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Where was the fusion?
Respectively the FDA used to state that all hardware is to be removed. I have not a found any surgeon that would remove any hardware unless in my case it was broken. I am glad
and benefited from it. I would have had a broken neck, if the plates hadn't remained in my neck.

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@kc2013 L4-L5-L3 I honestly felt better in about three months so much I could walk longer until my next issue started.

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BACK4MORE...... YOUR COMMENT TOWARDS ME IS STUPID. I POST MY HISTORY HERE AND I HAVE GONE THROUGH TWO SPINE SURGEONS. I DONT APPRECIATE YOUR COMMENTS AND IF YOU DONT KNOW MY LIFE PLEASE DONE ASSUME. I DID HAVE A DR. WHO DID NOT WANT TO HELP ME AND I HAVE ONE WHO DID HELP ME AND IS STILL HELPING ME. I AM HAVING SURGERY AGAIN. WOULD YOU LIKE AN INVITE TO MAKE SURE IT IS BEING DONE? I WOULD BE MORE THAN HAPPY TO SEND YOU ALL THE INFO AND THE DR'S NUMBER SO YOU CAN POST HERE.

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I had hardware removed also, but it was only removed because my body was rejecting it and pushing it out itself, so it was extremely painfull. No compared to getting it put in getting it taken out was a cake walk surgery, I was back to my normal self within a few days. But my surgeons ( director of the spinal center at UCSF, and the director of Sutter general spinal center) told me it would have been better stability to keep the equipment in. But he did say that since my fusion was solid that I would b just fine. So Manet ur fusion is solid enough, Ormandy you r experiencing more pain caused by the equipment. I know some of the rigged stiffness went always when the equipment was removed.

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What makes me so angry is that THEY CAN'T SEE FOR THE HARDWARE IN MY NECK! I AM STUCK MOSTLY IN THE BED, BECAUSE I HURT ALL OVER...IF, I USE A SINGLE MUSCLE.
THEY EITHER NEED TO FIND SOME WAY TO GET A GOOD VIEW OF WHAT IS GOING ON IN MY NECK...OR TAKE THE HARDWARE OUT! I AM SICK OF SEEING ONE NL TO THE NEXT...BECAUSE, THEY DON'T HAVE A CLUE TO WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME OR WHAT IS CAUSING ME SO MUCH PAIN.
WELL...IF, THEY REALLY CARED...THEY WOULD FIND A WAY TO SEE IN MY NECK. I HAVE JUST @ FGIVEN UP ON DOCS...BECAUSE IT SEEMS TO ME...THAT THEY COULD CARE LESS @ WHAT WE ARE GOING THROUGH...THE PAIN!!!!
I WISH, FOR ONCE...I COULD SEE A DOC, WHO ACTUALLY TRIED TO FIND THE ANSWER. :P

IT HAS GOT SO PAINFUL FOR ME TO USE MY MUSCLES AT ALL. I CAN'T RUB MY NECK..BECAUSE THE PAIN IN MY FOREARM GETS BAD. THE MUSCLES IN MY BODY SEEM TO BE TENSED UP AND STAY THAT WAY. MY LEGS HURT STANDING, SITTING OR LAYING. :O
I pray that u guys are well...well, as can be. Please keep hope in ur hearts...never give up. I know life is hard...and yes, sometimes it can stink(suck), but I have found that my faith in God has made me stronger and kept me going. He will comfort us...in our lowest moments. He is our strength and what keeps us going. ^_^ God Bless. O:)

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Hi I am 29 yrs old and Feb 1st 2012 I broke my neck and I did not really know how bad the injuries were until the next day the pivot bone had liturly snapped off and the c-1 and c-2 broke as well. Since then I have had two more surgeries to try to help me with the pain and headaches I had to have a nerve decompression done and 3 months after that I had to have a nerve burned and still I have been loosing all feeling from top of my head down to my feet on my left side and I want to know if I have to go for a 4th surgery to have all the hardwear taken out what are the problems that I would be look at can anyone help me out on the information contained to my problem I am having please

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This response was written in 2010. This is July 2014 and I would like to hear from you all about the
removal of hardware from fusion operations. Did you have this done? Would you recommend this surgery to anyone?

Has anyone experienced leakage from the incision site years after you last surgery? My last back surgery was in July 2002. For several years my incision site leaked blood and infection. Doctors saw this and would not say anything. A couple of years age a piece of metal was working out of the incision site and recently another item (fabric) worked its way out some then had to be removed.

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Hi BriannasMommy,
I was browsing the site and saw your post. I'm confused at why he would want to remove the fusion? is there still healthy disc between? I've never heard of this.. I would thing the recovery would be the same. The bones are used to this fusion and put no strain on your spine, not sure how they would immedietly just work and hold i place? I see you haven't received any comments on recommendations on this but I pray it all goes well. :( :)

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This may be helpful. There are many anecdotal reports of fusion hardware removal (removal of pedicle screws) in an attempt to reduce pain. Making a decision based on such anecdotal reports is very difficult. I have seen many patients that have improved and many that have not following removal of pedicle screws.

Here is a study of 50 patients that had this procedure. This may be helpful in the decision process.

The outcome of pedicle screw instrumentation removal for ongoing low back pain following posterolateral lumbar fusion J Spine Surg. 2015 Dec; 1(1): 50–56. doi: 10.3978/j.issn.2414-469X.2015.08.02

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Hi, everyone--while this is an older post, the discussion is excellent and we'd like to add a new resource that we think many of you will be interested in. This article offers an objective look at instrumentation removal: ( Spinal Fusion Instrumentation Removal: Pros and Cons ).

We hope this content helps as you weigh whether instrumentation removal is for you. As always, though, the best way to determine the right course of action is to have open, honest conversation with your doctor.

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I had a spinal fusion at L5-S1 in 2016 and all was great until a few months ago. I began to have back pain so bad that I thought for sure something was wrong with either the fusion itself or the hardware. I saw my orthopedic surgeon who took x-rays that showed the fusion is 100% healed and the hardware has not moved. My surgeon said I may be having an allergic reaction to the metal in my body and to continue seeing my pain specialist to see if we could achieve relief and if not, he will remove the hardware. I saw my pain specialist and after examination he found the pain is coming from my SI joints and we are going to try 1 steroid injection to see if that offers any relief at all. Being a type 1 diabetic, steroids play havoc with my blood sugars and my doctors try really hard to use them sparingly and only if they work. I am also using Flector patches and Percocet for the pain. The pain has gotten so bad that I can no longer stand for more than 1/2 hour at a time, I can only walk short distances and can no longer sleep through the night. After we do the injection on 1/22/19, if I don’t get any relief, my pain specialist is going to talk with my surgeon and recommend removing the hardware. The fusion surgery itself was awful, painful and it took a long road to recover. My question is, what am I looking at in regards to after surgery if we end up removing the hardware? It has served its purpose, it’s no longer needed in my body and if it’s the cause of all of this new horrific pain, I want it gone. I understand completely that I will always have back pain, my surgeon made that perfectly clear before I did the fusion. And for the last 2 years I was able to deal with any pain with Advil. However, I cannot and will not accept that this is my new normal, because I know that that is just not true. Any help on what I’m looking at as far as recovery after hardware removal is greatly appreciated. Oh and I’m not doing this to just do it, I have 2 levels fused in my neck and have no problems with those, so they will stay exactly as they are.

Thanks,
Melissa

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I am 7 months post OP. Had acdf c4-c7.. I am in continuous pain and my surgeon blew me off after I drove 5 hrs rented a motel and pd 700 for tests he ordered. I have constant pain in my neck & the back of my head. I run a low grade fever all the time and all he said was that my fusion looked fine then referred me to another 3 drs. What can I do? My marriage and family is suffering greatly because of my constant pain. Please help

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I am 10 weeks out of horrible spinal fusion surgery L-3, L4, L5. 10 weeks out and I can still barely move I have the exact same pain as before! And as the poster said I want to have the bars and screws removed. Obviously it did not solve my problem. Unfortunately the surgeon was a hell of a salesperson oh, now at 65 I feel like my life is pretty much over where it should just be beginning.

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BriannasMommy I am new to this site and saw your post. Granted it is now 2020 and wanted to know if you have resolved your issues? Feel free to respond if you are in need further assistance as I have had a multitude of surgeries and issues that seemed to never end until o found the right surgeon- Presently I’m highly functioning after not being able to walk- my first surgery was botched to the point where HARDWARE is serving my spinal cord and if I hadn’t paid attention to my gut feeling I will not be walking today. It was only one I did my due diligence can I find a World Class Surgeon who gave me back my active life! He replaced stainless steel w/ titanium and I remain well since 2010-
My underlying pain is under control by Time Released meds take it in the a.m. and the p.m. and I continue to manage a physically demanding job performing construction work on site and with the physical labor and knowing my limits, along with regular exercising From joining a competitive tennis team. Feel free to contact me directly 818.292.7155. Christi

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Hi. I had a fusion myself. Im seeing one of my surgeons in a couple weeks. I will ask ok. So check back in 2 weeks or so . Iwill find out. Im sure its very subjective. Ok

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