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Failed spinal fusion

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,731
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:24 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi all:

My husband had a 3 level spinal fusion with autograft 9 yrs ago post racing accident.
Now he presents with fluid buildup in all he areas of access from the surgery. None of the cultures have been positive but now the only thing they can think of is removing the hardware. Does anyone have any info?
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Comments

  • VickiJ said:
    Hi all:

    My husband had a 3 level spinal fusion with autograft 9 yrs ago post racing accident.
    Now he presents with fluid buildup in all he areas of access from the surgery. None of the cultures have been positive but now the only thing they can think of is removing the hardware. Does anyone have any info?
  • Hi and welcome Vicki. I presume that your husband is also in pain because of this. Obviously the doctors presume that removing the hardware will stop the fluid buildup problem / remove the pain. If they are fairly sure about this then it sounds a reasonable option, however have you considered a second opinion? If not then it would make sense to consider seeking a second opinion from another spine specialist (either a neuro surgeon or orthopedic surgeon - so long as he/she is experienced in spinal conditions in the area of your husband's condition).

    In regard to removal of his hardware. I had my hardware removed, so know what it is like. It can be removed by minimally invasive surgery (usually day surgery) but most of the time it is removed by open surgery as the surgeon will usually want to have a good look around at the fusion area and check for any other underlying issues, such as scar tissue, bone spurs, etc. Given that your husbands fusion was done 9 years ago, I would imagine that his surgeon would want to do this type of surgery.

    The surgery will probably entail a similar sized scar to his initial fusion surgery scar and cutting through those same muscles. This means that there will be a significant recovery period required, but if all goes well it should be quite a bit easier going than his initial fusion surgery recovery, especially if he is in generally better shape now than prior to his initial fusion surgery. As an example, when I had my hardware removed (single level L5-S1) I was in hospital for 2 days following the surgery, back at work after two weeks, and climbed a 14,000 foot mountain 3 months later.

    I hope that this helps - all the best... Bruce
    Keep positive!

    Bruce

    ...an old timer here and ex-moderator

  • Hi VickyJ,

    What causes the fluid biuld up and why now, after 9 years?

    I'm curious.

    I think if this wer my hubbie, I'd seek another opinion too. More unusual situation this one.
    good luck.
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