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Anyone have hardware removal?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:21 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I'm having my hardware out on Monday. This will be my 6th surgery for my lumbar spine. This is a last ditch effort to reduce my pain enough to hopefully avoid disability.

I'm 30 years old and will never be "normal" again. I have three kids under the age of 11 and a marriage only two years young. I'm trying to stay positive, but of course it's hard. Especially when my husband thinks I will be a "cripple" for the rest of our lives.

My last fusion was Feb 2007. It took 7 months to get back to my job. My career is that of surgical technologist. This means that I scrub in to the surgery and help with instrumentation, sutures and implants, etc.. My specialty is neuro/ortho and mostly spine, but also brain surgeries. I love my job with a passion, but I fear I will never be able to return to it.

I was wondering if anyone here has had hardware removal as I'm curious as to what to expect. I've scrubbed the cases many times, but have no idea what happens after the patient goes home. Someone told me they felt great in three wekks, but my surgeon just told me 8-12! That doesn't make sense to me with what I know about surgery. I am expecting this to be a cakewalk compared to the other surgeries I've had. I know I'll hurt pretty good the first week, but I'd think it would be fairly quick to recover from. Anyone care to enlighten me?


  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    I've had my hardware removed with some exploratory. It was about 2.5 hrs. if I remember right. And nothing compared to my 360 anterior posterior fusions. But it is still a major surgery. I went home the next day, and I think recuperation was 3 weeks.
    Good luck Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • Almost identical scenario to me. I am 34 and have two kids under 6. I have felt ever since my first surgery that i was going to be a cripple the rest of my life. I was a healthy police officer, swat sniper, and former professional baseball player. I got hit on my motorcycle at work and have had three surgeries since. I know need to have my hardware removed but have been putting it off in hopes of finding a new job. I have retired as a cop but am still in constant pain. I still play golf but in pain because I love it, I play softball in major pain because I love it and want to be normal again, plus I get to play me with my wife on co-ed and I miss that.

    I know I really need the stuff out but am deathly afraid of the pain after the surgery. I have read mixed reviews. Some say a little pain and some say alot. Hang in there, good luck if you have the surgery.
  • I had pedicle screws and rods removed from L5-S1 (you can click on 'view my story' in my signature to know more).

    My surgery was in the evening and i was up and walking the next morning. I spent one more night in hospital and was released the next day. I returned to my desk job after two weeks and also resumed PT rehab at 2 weeks. OF course, with a 4 ~ 5 " scar and cutting through those same muscles there is a lengthy rehab time, but it is usually nothing like after your initial fusion surgery. I was only on mild pain killers (tramadol and Arcoxia - a COX 2 NSAID) for about a week after surgery and then nothing more.

    I will say, however, that I feel that a proper PT rehab programme is essential for a full recovery. I just posted elsewhere about this. I maintained my PT rehab programme (1 x 3 hrs per week class) for nearly a year to really rebuild core muscle strength. I also had other issue that the PT helped with that were somehwhat related (e.g. SIJ issues) - my point being for anyone is to carry on with a good post-surgery PT rehab programme for as long as time and finances allow you to.

    All the best and keep us posted. Bruce
    Keep positive!


    ...an old timer here and ex-moderator

  • I had my hardware removed at 7am and I asked to be released at 10am...I walked out around 11 something.

    This was on a Thursday. I took Friday off, Monday was a holiday and I was back at work on Tuesday. My job is strenuous.. very physical and on our feet 10-12 hours a day. Granted I did not do much intense stuff, but I still walked around a lot and supervised and was okay.

    It was NOTHING like my first surgery. Don't let fear of pain stop you.

    Now, I am having some issues...ongoing pain so I am not sure this surgery helped. But in all fairness I may have pulled a muscle I don't know. I was feeling good a few weeks after removal so I may have tweaked a muscle. I am trying to get therapy approved to see if it will help and I am keen to find out why the nerve pain in my feet has increased.
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