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Hardware--what's in there??

outofcontrolooutofcontrol Posts: 264
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:54 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
What does everyone have as far as hardware after their fusion?

All I have is cages and screws. My PM doc said he has never seen anything like it before!

He said the screws are at odd angles, and that there should be a plate or rod to hold the area together.

I have to admit that this comment has me a little freaked out!

This all came about a few weeks ago. I went in for facet joint injections, and was on the table under the C-arm xray equipment. There was a conversation regarding the appearance of the fusion between the xray tech, the doc and the other members of the treatment team. I had not yet been sedated (not sure if they were aware of that fact) and when a question was asked about when the fusion was done, I answered........ That is the last thing I remember until I woke up in recovery.

At my last PM appt., my doctor discussed the situation with me and my husband.

I appreciate any information anyone can provide!!


  • I've had similar comments made about my ALIF. Scary, I know how you feel! I too freaked out the first couple of times my hardware & angle were frowned on.
    I have 3 screws, lordotic wedge, & peek cage with autograft & bmp. Original OR plan called for anterior plate. NS opted not to add it inter-operatively. I now have stability issues & non union & facing a posterior fusion to stabilize.
    Now, IF your fusion is stable you should be ok without the rods or plate. Are you fused? Are the screws holding & doing their job?
    Seeing your having injections I assume you are having pain issues, is at the index level or a different level?
    What type of fusion did you have & when? Also, some docs are just used to seeing the "gold standard" type of fixation devices, screws, rods and or plate. There are lots of other ways to do a fusion these days, new technology, newer fixation devices and such.
    Wow, sorry for all the questions, just trying to understand your situation better.

    take care!

  • If you are fully fused, it doesn't really matter, because you are solid now anyway.

    I had a peek cage, titanium screws and rods with my own bone, removed during the laminectomy, as a graft.

  • Hello!

    With all the work I have had done (and will have more done), I have titanium screws and rods and plates.

  • I am pretty sure it is fully fused.

    I think the concern is more with the use of just screws and cages, especially because of the angles of the screws. I had foot drop immediately post op, and it never resolved. The pain continues at the hardware level (L5-S1) and the compressed level above it.

    I had an ALIF in 2008.

    My NS is no longer practicing in this area.
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