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Who has had hardware removed succesfully? Advice please?

kathyykkathyy Posts: 580
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:54 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I don't know if we've ever had a compilation of responses to hardware removal, but I for one would like to know. Has anyone had a good result after having fusion hardware removed. Or if not so good, please describe. Thank you. My interest is that I am thinking that my hardware is at least, part of my problem. I've read old postings but they are few and far between. Kathy


  • I have hardware removed. I had a 360 fusion with instrumentation at L4/L5. Seven months later my spine started collapsing in on itself so I had L1 to L5 fused. The original hardware from the first fusion was removed (I have it in a jar!!). There was no problem but maybe that was because it was replaced with other hardware.


    Spinal stenosis, spondolysis, spondolythesis, L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion with instrumentation and bone graft from hip, L1/S1 fusion with replacement disc put in and a nice bolt from my spine to my pelvis; PT, accupuncture, prolotherapy, many cortisone injections, 4 rhizotomies. Currently on tramadol.
    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
  • I just had mine removed 2 weeks ago. So far so good. Had surgical pain but the pain I had it for is gone. I can't say for sure it fixed the problem because I don't go back to work until the end of next week. I will say the swelling was awful. My back was more swollen then it was with the fusion. It was an outpatient procedure, in at 8am out at 2pm. I had two diagnostic shots on the screw heads, an MRI, and a CT scan before we decided to take it out. I wasn't allowed to keep mine, they sent it off to pathology. He wanted to test it all and make real sure I didn't have a hidden infection. I had my followup today. He cut the end of the stitches, they are dissolvable, but hadn't disolved yet so they were pulling. The incision was only about 2-3 inches, he went in the same incision from the fusion, just didn't make it as big. He said most people that have it done have minimally invasive but I had an extra crossbar that would have made that too difficult. I felt really bad the first week, but I didn't need a walker or any of the stuff I used for the fusion. Anyway right now I'm feeling good, hope to keep it that way.
  • Hi, I had a PLIF at L5-S1 in Oct. '08. I had issues with the hardware on the right side only after about four months. The pain from it put me back on ms contin until the hardware was removed in Jan.'10. The procedure for hardware removal was a cake walk compared the fusion. I stopped the ms contin two weeks after the hardware was out and besides some scar tissue issues it has been very good. The NS doc said he removes about 20% of hardware installed, especially the lower stuff. I have not missed it. Hope this helps Kathy.

    God Bless,
  • I was wondering what type of pain hardware removal helps? Is it only back pain that is localized to the area of the hardware and surrounding tissue? Has anyone been helped with radiating leg pain?
  • How difficult is it if you have a cage involved and hardware needs to come out because of pain. Also, I have weak bones, and needed transfusions for my neck and lower back fusions?
  • I've always wondered how pain from hardware is described. I tell my pain doc the types of pain I have, he never brought it up, so I guess I'm not a "hardware issue'.
  • I think often it will be an acheing type pain regardless,unless a nerve is impaired badly which could make sharp pain.I think its more important to know whats causing it & can it be relieved,or must it be just managed for the rest of time.
    Good luck to all-Heal well.
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