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hardware problem

southforkgirlssouthforkgirl Posts: 38
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi Spineys,
I went to my neurosurgeon on friday. He is ordering a new mri for my neck. I have what feels like something stuck in my throat all the time and he thinks it is because my last mri showed that my hardware has moved some. So, could anyone tell me what is going to happen now? Has anyone had this problem? Id sure like to know? I think he will have to take the hardware out and put pins in through the back he says. Because i didnt fuse at the c-7 level, i just fused at the c5 and c6 levels. its been 2 years since my surgery. any input what be appriciated. Thanks all. and God Bless


  • Hello Southforkgirl,

    I have problems with a 'crack' that developed at the top of my C6/7 fusion, and due to that, I have had a crappy (scrappy, skipping voice) since January or so. My ENT doesn't feel that I am causing problems with my vocal cords, but the hardware or the bones moving are irritating my vocal cords. Due to the crack, they probably won't do anything till a year or more. Since I was assured through an ENT, I am ummmm...okay with it for now?

    No pain mind you, just constant (and I mean constant) chokeouts- and scrappy voice) I am okay. My Lower back (see sig) is going south fast, so it is on the main radar now. My EMG/NCS is focused for upper and lower extremities, so that tells me my NS wants to see what both areas are acting on.

    From what I have learned (me talking) hardware can move, but if it doesn't have issues with nerve issues or the vocal cords, it should be fine. Relax if you don't have symptoms and see what the tests show. :-) Please keep us posted!!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Hi Southfork,

    If it is indeed your hardware causing the issues and you had of fused it would be no big dealing it out. Once you fuse the hardware isn't needed anymore. Are you fused at the C4-c5 level and is the lower level that is not fused. I had the same issue you had with the choking thing but mine had more to do with the hardware setup(plate bridging). As far as doing the posterior surgery, he is more than likely talking about using rods that will go along the sides of the fusion. I would guess if he is talking that he will be using your hip bone or perhaps BMP. Sense you have already had a failed fusion at one level it wouldn't be worth to do with cadaver bone. Just curious did you use cadaver bone or your bone for the first surgery? The only thing about posterior surgery is the recovery is a bit long. Let us know once you get the MRI results what they say. Take care.
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    I recently had posterior cervical fusion for non union and my hardware had shifted. I also had non-union of c6-c7. Hope all turns out well for you
  • That doesn't feel good. I too have had similar issues. After the MRI, the doctor may send you to an ENT for a barium swallow test to see if when you swallow things catch on the plate. Also, a gastroenterologist may be needed if it is not hardware related. We decided my issue was scar tissue and I had my esophagus stretched via an endoscopy. By stretching it, the hope was that the scar tissue would move. but if yours is indeed the plate, this won't help you and that plate will need to come out.

    I have read where people have revisions solely from the front, just using another plate. I would suggest going that route if at all possible. But definitely use your own bone and not cadaver. BMP used anteriorly on cervical spine can cause some serious complications, but it is safe to use in small amounts posteriorly, depending on where it is placed. Ask a lot of questions if he wants to use bmp.

    But I'm getting ahead of things here. Please report back after you have your mri and know what the plan is. I wish you the best. Try not to worry.
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • Thanks for your help guys. I had cadaver bone. The c-7 level did not fuse. I still havent had my mri yet. The feeling that I get in my throat is like a lump or something in there. He said he may have to go in postier to put in rods where it didnt fuse. We arent sure yet what is up. Im waiting for the hospital to call me with an appointment for my mri. Im having problems at the L5-S1 disc also. he wants to deal with that first. Man Im a mess, Haha. I will keep everyone posted. I hate waiting, dont you? Anyway, Big hugs to all.
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