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Having Lumbar Screws and Rods Removed

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,899
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:22 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
My most recent surgery was in January 08. Just a couple of months ago, I started with sharp pain in my right side that radiated around to my abdomen and into my glutes. It seems that the screws are rubbing on the muscle because of my size. The surgeon said that my fusions have grown very well, and he will take the screws out in September. Does anyone know what type of recovery this might involve? I understand from reading other postings that hardware removal has helped many other people. I am interested in any information I can find about the process, recovery time, etc. just so I can be well educated and prepared. I am hopeful that this will be it, and I can permanently move on from these back surgeries. 8>


Here is my history: I have been through 5 back surgeries and an MRSA infection in my spine. After the fourth surgery, I still had spondelolythesis, fusions that had not grown, bone grafts that were off in the middle of nowhere, and hardware that had moved both into my abdomen and out to the back sticking out under my skin. I consulted a new neurosurgeon, and he felt that the multitude of problems was causing my increased pain and weakness, and that he could fix it along with the assistance of a vascular surgeon. The surgery required him to make both anterior and posterior incisions, upon which he and the vascular surgeon remarked at the number of errors they immediately saw. He removed all of the hardware and bone grafts, which had the nerves to my left leg sandwiched tightly. He placed a new screw through the front after removing the screw in the abdomen, did further lamenectomies and removed part of a vertebrae, corrected the spondelolythesis, completed the necessary fusions, and placed the screws and rods necessary to hold it all in place. The surgery was just short of 7 hours much like my other back surgeries. When I woke up, I could feel the difference immediately! It took a few weeks before I could use my left leg, but it is doing very well now.

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Comments

  • One of our Moderators, Bruce, had his hardware removed and shortly after went on a mountain trek. The dude's amazing.

    http://www.spine-health.com/user/bruce

    "C"

    PS Welcome to Spine Health. We're glad you're here!
  • Thanks for the flattering intro, C!

    mgiezentanner, I had my lumbar hardware removed 7 months after my fusion surgery as one screw was causing me sharp pain and was also impinging one nerve root causing more sciatic leg pain. The surgery was major, as the surgeon used the same sized incision (same place) and cuts through the same muscles. My surgery took about 2 hours as he took the opportunity to check out and clean up the bone while in there. I was walking the following day and and out of hospital 2 days later. Back at work (desk job) in 2 weeks) and as C said I climbed up a 14,000 foot hill 3 months later (click on the links in my signature below to read more).

    What will aid your recovery from the hardware removal will be to try and improve your overall fitness before the surgery - I simply mean in regard to stretching exercises and core muscle building exercises - if you can keep these up prior to your surgery (if your pain levels are not too excessive now) it will give you a head start following surgery.

    All the best... Bruce
    Keep positive!

    Bruce

    ...an old timer here and ex-moderator

  • Is all I can say about even thinking about having my hardware removed. Kudos to you guys.

    Christina :)
  • Hi Guys, I have had a Anterior Fusion at L5/S1 , with Cage and a Year Later Interbody Posterior Fusion , Rods and Screws at L5/S1 again. Ialso have had an Artificial Disc Replacement at L4 to. On ya Bruce ! I have Sciatic Pain when I walk and sit at the moment and the Surgeon reckons I have Scar Tissue on the Nerve. Time will tell as I am only 16 weeks Post Op.It is annoying and Painful though but I will keep walking and hope with time I can pull through . So hard to tell where Pain comes from . I have only just realised Hadware can come out but not in a hurry to go back after two 5 hour Opeation in 2 years . So glad there is success though in having Hardware removed. OW !
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