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EXTREME pain with hardware for fusion!!! Do you suffer?????

ToYoungforThisTToYoungforThis Posts: 150
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:35 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I was wondering if this has happened to any body else. I had several surgeries and my most recent one was a cervical refusion posterior on July 9th 2009. As I was waking up from my fusion I had EXTREME pain very uncontrolable. This was my 9th surgery and I knew something was wrong. I had pain from fusion before that took lots of meds to ease the pain but this was so bad I could not catch my breath. They took me right back to the OR and took out the hardware on left side ( oh yeah the pain was located on left side only)_When I awoke after that I was ok.

I am wondering if this has happened to anybody else. Since this was the 2nd time I had experienced this. My second back surgery was a lumbar fusion and i gained a new and extermely bad pain after that surgery suffered 2 years with that then had a refusion that took the extreme pain away, but was still very painfull in lumber area. So 1 year after fusion and was sure to have a soild fusion I had all the posterior hardware removed. Well now I am almost pain free in low back. I was amazed at how much pain my hardware was producing. Having the lumbar hardware out was like night and day.

I know I am not the only one who have had this even thought the staff that was there for last surgery said they had never seen that happen and there is suppose to be a person monitoring your nerve function at all time during surgery.



  • you and i must have had the same surgeon...ha ha...i too have trouble with hardware. i had 3 level posterior neck fusion and two of the screws never even entered the vertebrae. the fusion was 6 years ago. i have lots of pain on the side of the neck that misplaced screws reside. so we have both had trouble. i'm too apprehensive to go back in and remove hardware. i can live with pain and i will endure...glad you got some relief....pete
  • Hi
    I just read ToYoungforThis's comment and I am suffering from the hardware in my lumber spine L3-S1 too, very much!!. It was put in June 09, it was my 4th back surgery and now I am on 10X the amount of pain meds I was on before surgery. Now, because I am suffering so much the doc. is going to take it out Sept 14. I am scared- what about the stability of my back? I know that the fusion stuff at L5 is fresh and not fused all the way and the other levels L4-L5 & L3-L4 were done with ALIF in December 08. I'm freaking out and it sounds like you might have the same sensitivity. Could you let me know how you are doing? What do you think. You are very brave 'sucking it up' for almost 2 years. I don' know if I can do that. I can barely breath with this stuff in me. I feel it. I remember the doc. saying that I would feel relief right after the surgery. I just wonder if he is building a house in Europe or something.
  • I woke up in so much pain that I couldn't catch my breath either, but after some valium, more versad, and morphine, and then dilaudin, I finally got easy. I had the same thing happen before in June and just thought it was because I have taken so much pain meds that they couldn't get enough in me quick enuf. This last two were ACDF C5/6 then, C4-6. I sometimes think I feel the hardware in my lumbar too though. Does anyone think it's like a bone ache? From the metal being in the bones... or would it be scar tissue or arthritis setting up around everything? I hope you guys get some relief somehow. I really hate to think that we are all destined to hurt forever.

    I'm always amazed at how these neurosurgeon's aren't able to pinpoint the pain maker. It's like if a myelogram or MRI or CT scan shows some compression, then that's the pain. My C6/7 is self-fusing due to bone spurring and my doctor said if it was causing pain, it wouldn't be long till it was fused to where it wouldn't hurt. I just thought, what? Oh well.

    How did the surgeon know that the hardware on the left side was causing your extreme pain? I'm 5 days postop and having pretty bad shoulder pain and am taking alot of muscle relaxers, but trying to back off the Percoset 7.5/500, even though I'm taking about 4 of those a day.

    What does your hardware pain feel like to you?
  • Does anybody know what their hardware in their back slooks like. Well its around 3" long and has a place at the end to insert the rods into. These are not small screws. then think about how the muscles and nerves and tendons have to function on top of the hardware. The more I moved to more I hurt. I had my lumbar hardware out a few months ago and I feel great. Huge difference every thing I have read posted here about the pain associated with hardware it what I went threw. After there is solid fusion there is no need for the hardware and I would suuggest any one to have it taken out very simple surgery compared to having it put in. I saved mine and will post a pic of it as soon as i find it.

    As to how did the Dr.s knew the hardware on left side was causing the pain is cause that is where the EXTREME pain was located. I mean it was so bad there was nothing that helped the pain it was in both left leg and arm, and after passing out from pain a few times and my sergeon said I didn't reconize him and kept asking for him. And I kept telling him there was something wrong. I think the reason they took me serious and didnt keep me waiting long to go back to operating room is cause my Dr knows me pretty well he has done 3 other surgeries and they were more invasive than this one. Don't get me wrong haveing a posterior cervical fusion is a thousands time harder to heal than an anterior one. but I have some major lumbar surgeries. but all said and done when I awoke from the 2nd surgery that day i was in the normal fusion surgery pain.

    I am 7 weeks out now and still have lots of nerve pain from the miss place hardware but thankfull they are still healing any getting a little more feeling back every day. smiling again feels great.
  • I am having my lumbar hardware taken out posterially on Friday. Just wanted to know, how many restrictions did you have afterwards. How was pain immedialtly after surgery? How long a recovery? I am looking forward to feeling better.
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