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For those who have had the hardware removed...

TatiyanaTTatiyana Posts: 194
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:36 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi everyone..I havent been on in a while.. I recently had to go back on medical leave because of pain & a new herniated disc @ C7/T1..I go in on the 19th for injections @ C6/7 & C7/T1 but my question is related to my fusion @ L4/5 10 months ago...

What was the sign that you needed the hardware removed?

I have had ongoing pain since my ALIF in December '08 and am begining to wonder if it is indeed the hardware causing it. The pain is different than pre surgery & involves my saddle area including my tailbone..noone knows why I am having this pain & I am getting frustrated with it all. I always seem to have some rare experience that the Doc's havent seen!

TIA :)



  • Hi,
    I am having the same pain like you and had a fusion at L5-S1. The pain is also different than prior to surgery. It also changes because I have fallen two times. After my last fall my sciatic nerve flared up to.
    My doc doesn't know why I'm in pain and has agreed to remove my hardware at the end of this month. She said that there is no real test to see if it's the reason for the pain.
    I feel I need to go through with this so I know I tried everything from shots to PT.
    HOpe this helps a little. If you want to know more feel free to PM me.
  • In my case, I could feel the rods & screws moving every time I moved and even when I took ( or tried to take!) a deep breath. My pain after surgery was worse than before. I had the same basic pain as before and new pain multiplied 100 times over. When I finally convinced a doootr to do exploratory to see what was wrong, we were all shocked. It turned out that my hardware was installed wrong and parts and pieces from the 1st surgery were left in me. What I had felt for almost 2 yrs was the rods & screws moving, the bone being cut away as they moved, and all the other stuff floating around inside me bumping around every time I moved or breathed in. There was a time during all of that that I had severe pain in my tailbone. It almost felt like it was trying to explode from deep inside to the outside. The doctor finally put a shot in directly to that area and the siatica area. After a couple of days that seemed to take care of the worst of the pain in the tailbone. I still have some pain there if I sit for very long, but nothing like i had before. I wish I could tell you what was in the shot, but all I remember now was it was 2 different meds he put in. Your doctor will probably know.
    I hope this helps a little. I'll pray for you.
  • The tailbone pain sounds the same. It is a pressure type pain. They will probably want to do a steriod injection when I see my pain mgmt doc, but I still feel like there is something wrong. I have wondered if it is tight muscles around the tailbone creating pressure/pain.
    Hopefully someone will listen..I dont think they get how much pain it causes me. Between the 2 herniated discs in my neck & the tailbone pain, I am in constant pain :(
  • except I also have pain down my legs which may never go away. My doctor just did a hardware block and it was positive. What they did was inject lidocaine around all my hardware in my back and for a few hours the pain was relieved which means the hardware is likely my problem. I'm hoping it is also irritating the nerves in my legs so I get relief there too, wishful thinking! I go on the 15th to discus getting the hardware removed. I am now 9 months postop. I have no reason to believe at this point that my hardware is installed wrong, i think my body just does not like it. I also think it's hitting nerves. Who knows til he goes in but he does xray me everttime i go. HTH. God bless and good luck to you!!
    Mom to Tony 13, Gavin 9, and Donovan 7
    Surgery 1/07/2009:
    1. L3-4 decompression laminectomy and foraminotomy
    2. Left complete L3-4 discectomy with decompression of L4 root.
    3. Posterior lumbar interbody fusion, L3-4 with 10-mm Capstone cage and autograph.
    4. Posterior spinal fusion L3-L5 with iliac bone graph and BMP
    5. Legacy instrumentation, L3 to L5
  • Is your pain in the tailbone & down the back of both legs to the knee? They keep telling me it cant be the hardware because it is not close to my tailbone.. (L4/5). I still think it is, I never had this pain before the surgery.
  • Is from about L3 all the way to my tailbone and radiates down the front of my legs all the way to my toes. Sometimes I feel a pressure in my very low back/tailbone area. I had pain L3-L5 and in my legs before surgery but its much worse now. My hardware block was positive so they will prolly take the hardware out. That may help the back pain, but they doubt it will help the leg pain. They are still shrugging their shoulders over my leg pain, they can't figure it all out. But I know its nerve damage, they just don't want to admit it yet.
  • pain well pressure!!! I put out a post a couple of times asking if anyone is experimenting the same. I had a 360 fusion in August of this year.

    I been having extreme pressure in my low back,in the rectum area down to the legs.. I go to the Dr's the 20th. This is my first fusion and I'm not sure what is normal. The pressure can get really intense. Sometimes it makes me wonder if I made the wrong decision on having this fusion...


    spondylolisthesis at L4-5; stenosis,
    Lumbar surgeries 1999 L4-L5
    Lumbar staph infection 1999-2000"
    Meningitis x5 in 1999-2001
    Brain shunt 2000"
    Brain shunt removed 20001"
    ALIF/PLIF fusion 8/5/09
  • You are way early in your fusion, and it should get better. It takes a long time for you to heal up as well as fuse. Keep your chin up, it should get better.
    I had my harware out 4 weeks ago. Had a positive test for removal, but have yet to notice any differnce. Dr says it is to early as I am still healing from posterior muscles being cut. So I am paitiently waiting...
  • i have'nt had hardware removale yet, but it's the next question on the list to ask my ns and pm .I found a site that talks a little about hardware injections, It's about half way down the page.


    good luck Tatiyana

    bilateral decomprssive hemilaminotomies L4-L5
    hemilaminotomy and discectomy L5-S1
    transverse process fusion and pedicle screw fixation L4 to sacrum bilaterally
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