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Screw removal after several years??

Screw removal after several years?
Hi there, to cut a long story short I had a burst fracture of l2 14 months ago.
I have just been to see my doctor about getting the screws taken out because I was getting some pain and also was hoping that if the screws were removed I would get some movement back. (My spine has not been fused).
He told me that there is no time limit on having the screws removed and it's no different having it done now or 5 years down the line. It will work out for me to wait a few years because of job commitments.
However, I was led to believe that bone eventually grows over the screw heads making them very difficult to remove and I was also worried about the effect it would have on the discs between the fixation been immobile for such a long time?
If any one has been in a simular situation or has any advice it would be greatly appreciated.


  • I'm not an expert, but I've never heard or seen bone grow over screw heads. I used to work in the OR with several neurosurgeons & occasionally they did remove screws/hardware for various reasons.
    I now work for several pain management doctors & quite a few of our patients have hardware & I still have never seen bone grow over the screw heads (or the rods, for that matter)
    Hope this helps
  • Yes that does help thanks, so in your opinion it would not matter if the screws were removed after 4 or 5 years even?
    I would have thought with it been a tempory brace while the bone heals (instead of fusion). The screws would be removed in every case as soon as the bones are fully healed.
  • It shouldn't matter, but you may want to google it, just to see if it can happen as an anomaly. I've just never personally seen it.
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