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Post-ALIF Complications Resulting in Screw Removal

Hello all,

I had ALIF surgery at the L5-S1 level just over 10 weeks ago. At about 3 weeks post-op, I began to experience freedom from the pain that has been a dark shadow over my life for the past 10 years. I was absolutely ecstatic as I had been in pain so long. At about the 5 week mark, I began experiencing cramping pains again in my right leg and my right extremities have grown substantially colder and paler than the left side of my body. I was devastated, as I had been reminded of what a pain-free life was like and then it was gone. It has continued to get worse and now has passed my pre-surgery pain levels. My surgeon was concerned that I shouldn't be in this much pain at this stage in recovery and ordered an MRI. The MRI revealed that the cage in between my vertebrae had shifted and one of the screws had gone through the back of the vertebrae and was now pressing on my nerves. I am now facing an additional surgery to have this screw removed.

I have scoured this forum and found many posts about screws breaking and/or hardware needing to be removed. I have not found one that specifically speaks to screw(s) needing to be removed following the ALIF procedure. I am simply asking if anyone has had to have screws or hardware removed following ALIF surgery, and if so, what was your experience?

Thanks for reading!
L4/L5 Discectomy October 2010
L4L5 ALIF October 2014
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