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Hardware Removal

Natelle2NNatelle2 Posts: 38
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery

Please, do tell me about hardware removal. It has been an option for me but I don't know. I was going to have it taken out because I didn't want it to begin with.

After having the surgery, I changed my mind. I didn't want to have surgery to take it out..........alot of pain.

I have just read thought that it can cause problems or pain.

Help me understand so that I can make a better decision.

Thank you,


  • Before me fusion I talked to my surgeon about removal. He told me unless it is causing problems,its in for good.
  • Unless there is a specific problem - like a screw somewhere it shouldn't be or a rare allergic reaction to the metals, they won't take it out until you are completely fused. Most surgeons say 1-2 years for that to happen.
  • In 1989 I had a neck fusion and no hardware. I know two people that I see weekly that had the same surgery 20 years later and have hardware.

    I wore a collar for 8 weeks...took it off and things were weak but good.

    I did not want hardware for my back surgery but was told that because of movement they require it. It was 66,000 dollars for the hardware, is that why the require it.

    I feel that I would have been safe without it. Before they made it people did fine.

    I understand when you have multiple levels, then yes, I think the changes of movement are higher. So I understand.

    Back to removal. This doctor apparently offers the option. I was told that it is only needed up until you are seen to have fused.

    They said that he started making it a MUST HAVE after two people were hurt with Physical Therapy. My first thought was that the hardware was for his studies and success and not for me.

    Is hardware removal optional depending on the surgeon???

    What happens when we get old, if we get Ostoperosis??? I feel like the hardware is just something esle that might interfere with something later. I will not have money to have this taken out if needed :(
  • i am awaiting removal of my hardware as i am in a lot of pain and my scar is very tender also have weekeness in my left leg with pins and needles should be in with in the next 6 weeks so hoping it works i had spinal fusion 2 yrs past good thing is im fully fused lol its my own fault for falling down the stairs not once but twice x will keep u posted on it x
  • I had my hardware removed in January. I was 18 mo. post fusion.

    My NS said that in about 10% of the cases he has to remove hardware - and it's usually in young thin females (I lvoe him for that comment!!)

    Anyway, if you pressed on a screw head my leg on that side would buckle - it would just melt. Also my backaches were constant and terrible. I thought it was normal. I guess not.

    The removal was easier and harder.

    Shorter surgery, shorter stay in the hospital, shorter recovery.

    Harder because they don't medicate you very much and it freaking hurts! It's not a fusion, but hey that's an 8" opening they cut open and peeled back in my back to access them suckers.

    If I hadn't had issues with my hardware I would have preferred to leave it in - too much risk with more surgery (and I DID have an allergy issue -a medication reaction- that kept me in the hospital for like 4 or 5 days - for a removal!)

    p.s. I highly recommend the 'Michael Jackson drug' - propo, dang what is it, propofofof... whatever. I had a much easier time coming out of it. This might not hold true for everyone, they've put in my records that I'm allergic to anesthesia. - No, this was not what I had a reaction to - that was Hydrocodone of all things. I got hives.

  • I will also hope that I don't need to remove it. Either way, I would not be able to pay for the surgery...so I guess that settles that, for me.

    Glad that you are doing well and with much hope you will not need any other surgery. Sounds like you are very sensitive to the meds.

    I have learned to carry Benodryll with me EVERYWHERE.

    Good luck to you
  • I wish you to win the lottery so that you can move......you should not have stairs.

    I am not fond of stairs, myself, I am a nervous wreck each time I have my porch and there are only 4. They get wet..it much be very hard to have more than a few.

    I wish you the best also.
  • That settles it for me :)
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