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Removal of titanium rods

Hey :)
2 years ago my horse fell on top of me and I fractured my L1, L2, L4 and shattered my L3 my surgeon used two titanium rods and screws to fix it.
The day after surgery I was walking and feeling a lot of relief, I stopped taking any pain killers as soon as I got home from hospital and I was only in there for 11 days, 2 months later I was back on a horse and riding every day.
Ever since my operation I feel no pain at all and am incredibly flexible ( can touch hands flat on the floor without stretching and can do most yoga moves)
Since my last check up the surgeon said that he would like to take it out, I would love to get some opinions, I feel like I don't need it in anymore, but if there are risks I would love to know of other people's experiences with the removal of their titanium rods :)
Thanks Nikki
Nikki scott


  • Nikki
    Great success story and your riding again. I do like hear about the positive cases.
    Surgery is surgery with the same risk every time. I had a L4/5 S 1 fusion that did real well.
    At a later date three nerve roots were compressed from bone growth. To clear these nerve roots my rod on one side was in the way. One rod was removed and the other rod left.
    I can not feel any difference and was told once we fuse solid the rods are no longer needed.
    However I have never talked with anyone that just had them removed to be removed.
    I would ask why and what was to gain from it.
    I wonder and guess if because your riding he is concerned of them having a issue such has coming lose or breaking out. I would ask and find out if the reason makes sense to you.
    The surgery to remove my rod and clear the nerve roots was much easier then the fusion surgery but it's still a pretty good incision or two with risk.
    He may have a very valid reason for a preventive idea.

    Good Luck
  • Typically, insurance won't pay for the removal unless there is a documented issue with leaving the rods in. Some folks have a sensitivity to titanium and have to get them removed right after surgery.

    I admire your tenacity to get back "on the horse" after your accident!
    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • MollyAkMMollyAk Posts: 114
    edited 11/26/2013 - 4:40 PM
    Hi Nikki, do you ride over fences or flat only? I had a L5 S1 fusion recently and I have 2 horses that I'd like to jump again, even if it's over baby fences. I'd love to hear what steps you took to have such great results. I hope to copy you.

    Sorry, I don't have anything to suggest as far as the rod removal though. Let us know what you decide.
    L5 S1 MicroD - August 21, 2013
    L5 S1 Fusion - October 17, 2013
    44 year old
  • Hi Nikki,
    I am also in a similar situation I shattered l2 6 weeks ago and had titanium rods fitted between l1 and l3. I am going to speak to my surgeon today about benefits of removing them. I am worried that if They are left in it could cause the healthy discs between to deteriorate and the vertebrae above and below to wear more quickly.
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