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if you've had your hardware out?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,731
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:25 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
What kind of problems or symptoms were you having???

Anyone's insight would be greatly appreciated, I'm not looking for another surgery but if removing the hardware would help I'd be willing as I still have not gotten the results so far that I hope for.

I'm having a SCS trial next week but I'm leary that that is the end of the road and what if it's just a hardware issue?

My surgeon says no but I'm getting a second opinion.

again your experiences would be greatly appreciated....
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!!
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Comments

  • Hi! I just had my hardware removed 5 weeks ago at L4-L5. Prior to the surgery, I was having quite a bit of pain around the fusion surgery site, sometimes radiating to my buttock, hip and right leg. I tested positive to two injection tests, which I was told determined that I was reacting badly to the hardware.

    The surgery was painful, but not as bad fusion. The first two days really sucked, but then I started feeling a lot better. Like you, I was not eager to have another surgery, but I REALLY want off the meds. It's too soon for me to know if the surgery was a success or not, but I'm hopeful. If it doesn't work, I'll have a pain pump installed.

    I highly recommend that you get the best surgeon you can, as the results of hardware removal vary wildly. My surgery was done by the Chief of Spinal Surgery at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in New York City. He's one of the best in the world. I have total confidence that my surgery was executed perfectly, and for me, that confidence really helps psychologically. Also, because the surgery was doen at a surgical hospital, there is better pain management and much lower risk of infection.

    One more piece of advice: If you live in a cold climate, try to wait for better weather to have the surgery. I'm in New Jersey, and this is a very tough time of year to recover from back surgery. The cold and damp are killing me.

    I am more than happy to answer any and all questions I can for you. I wish I had known about this forum prior to my surgery, because I couldn't find anyone to talk to who had had their hardware removed. In general, it's a fairly uncommon procedure.

    Hope I can help! Happy Thanksgiving and hang in there!
    Best Wishes,
    Ladybirddeb
  • Yes, I had my hardware removed at 7 months after my fusion surgery. I had a problem with one screw.

    My symptoms were sharp pain at the exact location of the screw when I bent slightly forward or crouched down. Also the screw was impinging on a nerve root so I also had sciatic leg pain all the time.

    Hardware was removed and I had instant relief.

    Some 10% to 15% of fusion patients end up having hardware removal surgery although the success rate in terms of removing or reducing pain is something like only 50% - meaning in the other 50% it wasn't the hardware that was causing their pain issues.

    Your surgeon can do various tests to try and determine whether your hardware is causing you pain. As Ladybirddeb pointed out, injections can be given around the location of each screw, to determine whether that screw is causing pain. Sometimes a screw breaks and this will normally easily show up on a plain x-ray. A CT scan or an MRI with contrast injected into you can also be used to try and determine whether there are hardware problems, or whether your pain could be caused by other reasons.

    Keep positive!

    Bruce

    ...an old timer here and ex-moderator

  • My husband had a spinal fusion a year ago in october. He has hardware in his back and he is in chronic pain, worse than before :''( .

    I often wonder if we should go see another surgeon(maybe the one that I am going to go see), and see if he has a opinion. It is so hard to have these back issues. I hope that everything works out for you. I am always trying to figure out what to do to help my husbands pain(he really doesnt want to go through another surgery because of this). I am def. going to look into testing for him.

    I am sorry to get off track!!!!!!!! 8}
  • I definitely recommend that your husband seeks a second opinion from a highly experienced spine specialist.
    HeidiLynnM said:
    My husband had a spinal fusion a year ago in october. He has hardware in his back and he is in chronic pain, worse than before :''( .

    I often wonder if we should go see another surgeon(maybe the one that I am going to go see), and see if he has a opinion. It is so hard to have these back issues. I hope that everything works out for you. I am always trying to figure out what to do to help my husbands pain(he really doesnt want to go through another surgery because of this). I am def. going to look into testing for him.

    I am sorry to get off track!!!!!!!! 8}
    Keep positive!

    Bruce

    ...an old timer here and ex-moderator

  • Thanks for your opinion. I think that it will be a great idea for a second opinion for hubby. He is just so scared to go through another surgery :& :& . Could it very well be that this surgeon was quick to fuse? He had DDD, and it was bone to bone. Thanks! :)
  • Glad you asked this question, as my OS tells me in order to relieve the burning pain I now feel in my upper back, mostly between the shoulder blades, it will involve removing my hardware which has been in at that site for 9 years.....X-rays showed problems with C6. He does not seem to eager to do that, which is good, but I am sick of having back pain, esp. since I am hurting so much (still) from the PLIF 9 weeks ago. I don't want more surgery, esp. if it involves taking out something that is not "broken" but I don't want to keep hurting, either! :P
  • hey guys
    thank you for your replies. Bruce I was hoping you would post as I appreciate you posting your hardware issues, again ;)

    It sounds like it may not be hardware. I did do the injections and it didn't help my leg at all...so I guess given the pattern it may just be scar tissue as suspected.

    have a great football/hockey day everyone!!!!
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