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REMOVAL of Hardware?

nstore04nnstore04 Posts: 1
edited 01/13/2015 - 1:26 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi, 28 year old male from Sydney, have had L5/S1 Laminectomy and posterior fusion in May 2012. Had re-do fusion of same level in June 2014 as fusion did not take. This time I was done anteriorly and posteriorly. Cage inserted anteriorly and rods taken out during that process from the back, then put back in a week later to stabilise while I heal. Felt good while rods were out from the back for that week.
Pre-surgery I was in what I would now call moderate pain and would often fall over unable to get back up for about 5 years, was taking the odd painkiller and anti-inflammatories, would generally lay down after work (carpentry) each day. I now live with severe chronic pain, try to limit myself to 4 Panadeine forte and 4 Endone per day, plus norspan patch changed weekly, also on valium. Due to side effects I try not to go over that but to actually be out of pain I would probably need to take double that. Have not worked since the operation.

Basically, my gut feeling is, and has been from day one that something is wrong. My first thought when I woke up was "what the Fu@k have you done to me". I understood I may need to get worse to get better. I do everything I can to get better and beat this, I do not expect it to fix itself without me doing any physio and strengthening and keeping mentally stable. If anyone is interested in more details PM me but basically I want to know if anyone has had any success with removal of hardware after a solid fusion. My gut feeling is telling me the rods are stopping my back muscles from working properly and they compensate and work for whatever is going on in there and cause my pain. My surgeon said he will take them out at the 1 year mark, being June 2015 if there is a solid fusion but is generally against it. No one understands why I want to take them out, but when you live with something for so long you understand your body better than anyone. Thank you for reading and any feedback would be greatly appreciated.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • MikethepikeMMikethepike Posts: 241
    edited 01/13/2015 - 2:23 AM
    I want better neck movement.
    If anyone has a good argument to remove them let us know.
  • I have no advice, but reading your story just made me so sad. Hopefully someone else here has some good advice for you. Have you gotten a second opinion from another dr?
  • I take prayers and give prayers also.
  • I had a partial hardware removal and where my screws removed I do have relief. Have you talked to a pain doctor about this? Have tey done any diagnostics to see what's causing the pain? If it's nerve problems then removin the hardware won't help any so I would see what the main cause of it would be. Now I also had my plate taken out but that caused me to have an increase in symptoms and they meaning the surgeons over my case ( I have one main one but she meets with others before doing surgery to see what would be the best plan) aren't sure if it was smart to remove that part of my fusion. This is why you should talk to your pain doctor to understand where you pain is most likely coming from.
  • I was just informed by means of a spect ct imaging exercise that one or two anterior screws used in my l5-s1 fusion in 2008 are possibly loose. Has anyone gone through surgery to replace this type hardware and what does it entail? Thanks.
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