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Did you have to have your screws taken out after Fusion??

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,731
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:22 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi,

I'm having surgery soon & trying to make the right decision.

As far as the people on here that have had fusions, did you have to have another surgery later on to take out the screws/rods and such after you were fused? Did you have to do another long recovery? If they were taken out were they causing you problems?

Also, another question was it hard for you bending after you were healed?

Thanks for your input!!!!!
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Comments

  • Anyone can have their hardware removed from posterior fusions only if its and anterior fusion would not likely happen.

    Good thing you are doing you reaserch before your have surgery.

    After you have a solid fusion the hardware serves no purpose anymore. So if it causing pain it can be removed. A Dr. ccan do a hardware injection to see if its causing pain.

    The procedure is usually at day surgery they send you home a few hrs later and then a few weeks for the sergical pain to subside. quick healing for process.

    What type of fusion are you haveing done, and where at

    Paula
  • The disc that is causing the problems is L5-S1. It's DDD. I've had my discogram and all. The Dr gave me the choice of fusion or disc replacement.

    It would be from the front. He did say if he did the fusion from the back, it would be more painful and longer to heal.

    I just don't know which to decide.

    Kristie
  • Charmed,

    As far as I know, they only remove the hardware if it causes any problems. If it is well placed and stays there you should not even feel it. I have two titanium rods, eight screws, and a bone fusion stimulator implanted, but I am not aware of any of them except the stimulator battery pack that I can detect under my skin. Later on, once I am fused and the battery is dead (in about 6 months) that part could be taken out at outpatients, as it close to the surface. The rest of the hardware I hope to keep for the rest of my life, mostly because I don't want to have another surgery.

    Kin
  • Pedicle screws and rods are put in posteriorally. The statistics are that up to 15% of patients fused with pedicle screws and rods, may suffer hardware-related issues which could lead to having their hardware removed (as I did).

    It is a major surgery (and recovery) to remove the screws, but not as bad as the initial fusion surgery of course - consequently, hardware is only removed if there is a specific reason to remove it.

    Personally, I would not let the risk of a hardware related issue later on influence my surgery decision too much, but that is just my view.

    All the best with your decision.
    Keep positive!

    Bruce

    ...an old timer here and ex-moderator

  • Charmed, in answer to your question about bending after healing from fusion surgery it depends upon the number of levels that you are having fused. If you are having a single level fusion (e.g. L5-S1) you may not notice any reduction whatsoever once you have recovered. The more levels fused, however, the more noticeable the reduction will become.
    Keep positive!

    Bruce

    ...an old timer here and ex-moderator

  • I have tried all other less invasive procedures. Fusion is next, since i can't walk any distance or stand. I'm scared...got general info from surgeon will meet again 2 weeks before surgery, he's fusing L4,L5 and disk issue at L5,S1. Is the surgery done from back or front? How long before you can actually function,like shower,dress by yourself, sit, how long does it take to achieve basic daily functions???
    Thanks,
    Lea
  • Thanks for all your comments. Just trying to research and make a better informed decision about surgery.
  • You make want to make a new topic under the surgery section. You posted in my question.

    They can go from the front or back. According to my doctor, if they go in from the back it takes longer to heal and is more painful because they cut through all your muscles. And going through the front they have to move you veins, organs to the side to get to your spine (scares me).

    Before you go to your dr, you need to make a list of all questions, so you don't forget anything to ask him.

    Now, I don't no about dressing and all that stuff. Because, I haven't had mine yet.

    Good luck!!!
  • I hope to keep my hardware in there. My dad has had hardware for 10 years. His NS told him it would have to eventually come out (that WAS 10 years ago) but he has never had any problems with it. Today I think they only remove hardware if you have problems with it.

    As far as the fusion and range of movement, I hurt so bad when I tried to bend or move prior to my surgery that I now have MORE range of movement (from week 2 even) than I ever had before. And that's with a 2 level.
  • I have spondylothesis with no disc at all at L5. Surgery is the next step as NSAIDS are no longer helping. The MD will be doing an anterior approach. I am wondering which route I want to go, cadaver bone graft with plate and screws or cage with protein (BPM-2). I have had 2 opinions, one says cadaver, plate and screws and one says cage with proteins. One MD is an Ortho and one is a Neuro. Hoping someone can share some info to help me with my decision.
    Thanks
  • Saltzy, I didn't think you are suppose to be bending yet /:) I haven't a clue what my ROM is yet cause I haven't tried to bend, in fact even when I get the okay it will be scarey!
  • Hello MNTK2,

    I just had fusion L4-5 for a spondy on Aug. 5. Mine was done from the back, but I had the Peek cage, my own bone (from lamina), donor bone, BMP-2, and titanium rods with screws. You might get more replies if you repost under the surgery forum yourself instead of under someone else's topic. Which surgeon did you feel most comfortable with?
    Also read the sticky about NS vs.OS. Sue
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