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Getting Hardware Removed

lilac100llilac100 Posts: 180
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:53 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
On Tuesday the 24th I'm having my hardware taken out. It will either be 3 small incisions or one 4-5 inch incision. He will decide that after he takes the x-rays on the table. It really depends on the crossbar between my rods. He doesn't plan on stripping the muscles off this time, just moving them aside or putting small hole in them if he has to. I'm a little nervous but after the success of the hardware block I'm very hopeful. I know it is like doing this all over again but in my level of pain if I don't do something soon I'll be disabled. If anyone has any recovery tips or even has an idea of how long it takes to recover please share. He said anywhere from 2-8 weeks depends on me and my body.


  • From what I have heard,recovery from having metalware removed is much less than when op is first done.
    Aclose friend of mine had her's out of her lumber region & she was up & mobile,in about two weeks.
    I would say it will be a Walk in the Park,compared with what you have already been through,& sounds like will give great results too,if the blocker was so effective .
    No guarantee's obviously.
    Keep us posted ,& all the best.
  • Thanks, I'm really nervous. I'm trying so hard not to worry about the "what if this doesn't work", but it's hard not to. I'm hoping it ends up being outpatient but depends on how invasive it turns out to be. Stinking crossbar.
  • Please fill me in on the "hardware block". I asked my surgeon about removing my hardware and he just turned me off. I asked about hardware blocks to test and he blew it off. He doesn't want to do it.

    How is that different than just getting an ESI you have disc issues etc? I'm really curious.

    I'd like to hear your outcome later too. I don't see a lot of people getting surgeons to remove hardware. I don't see a lot of stats on what percent it helps.
  • I'm going in with my eyes open. Even if it works it won't get rid of my pain just reduce it. The hardware block is similar to an ESI, the meds are short term in most cases, like a local anesthetic, sort of like what they do to numb your mouth at the dentist. By floroscope x-ray they inject dye to confirm needle position and direction on med flow and then inject the anesthetic. If it works it works immediately. If most of your pain is gone they do a repeat to double check their findings in my case it was months later. It depends on how long it helps and how much it helps before they consider doing a hardware removal. My doctor doesn't do them often he said this year I'm his third. I'm only his second this year that he actually put the hardware into, the third was someone else's patient.

    They also did MRI and CT scan to assure that the bones fused and I didn't mess up another disc. He was also checking hardware placement. By the way my top right screw looked to be really close to the facet joint. He thinks it may be inhibiting natural movement.
  • Hi Lilac

    Hope your surgery goes well and that you get enough pain relief.

    One of our members, Saltzworks, had her's removed successfully. If you do a search, you may be able to find her thread.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • I had my hardware removed 12-29-10. It was so much easier than the actual fusions I have had. I was in the hospital the day of surgery and went home about 24-26 hours later. I did have some problems once I got home with my lupus going crazy from the steriods they gave me during surgery so it took me alittle longer to recover than normal. But I started therapy about a month later. It didn't help any of my pain at all.

    Good luck with the surgery.
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    Of all of the surgeries I've had. This one was the easiest. Piece of cake!
    Good luck, Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • Thanks for the comments and encouragement everyone. I'm just a big chicken I think. My husband tries to understand but I can't tell him how nervous I am because he is scared just thinking about it.
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