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Hardware Removal

eastmameeastmam Posts: 8
edited 11/05/2015 - 6:01 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi Everyone,
I had a spinal fusion on my L-5 and S1 back in May and I am still in pain every single day. I go to school and I work and I am sitting all day and have to get up all the time and walk around. My Dr. did another MRI and could not find anything wrong. I am also having severe leg aches, so he is having me go through a hardware removal surgery. I will be getting my rods and screws removed in December. Has anyone had this procedure done? Is it a long recovery process? I am 23 and in graduate school and do not want to have to go through another long recovery but I am in so much pain every day!


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • I have had it done. It's a shorter recovery process than an actual fusion. The hardest part is that the muscles are getting cut open again so you will have to go to PT.
  • I had hardware removal from a L5-S1 fusion 1.5 years after the initial surgery. It made my symptoms a lot worse and I ended up having the hardware put back in 6 months ago. The fusion looked solid on the CT scan but in fact it wasn't and still had some micro motion. I have since learnt that complete fusion and solidification takes close to 5 years. My new doctor has told me to never remove hardware again unless it is loose.
    Micro Discectomy L5/S1 Feb 12
    Anterior Fusion L5/S1 June 12
    Posterior Fixation added to L5/S1 Nov 12
    Hardware removal Nov 13
    TLIF at L4/L5 May 15
    Posterior Fixation added again at L5/S1
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