question about 2nd cervical fusion needed & hardware removal

question about 2nd cervical fusion needed & hardware removal

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Amandala
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Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
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Joined: 08/21/2010 - 10:14am
question about 2nd cervical fusion needed & hardware removal

Hello all!

I had an ACDF C5-C7 in 2007. I am now facing another surgery at the level of C7 and possibly C4. My surgeon said they would need to remove all the hardware placed in the initial surgery and I am wondering why. I was in such shock that I needed yet another surgery 3 years later (and I'm only 35) that I didn't think to ask. The original surgery went well and everything "fused" properly. The original hardware is not causing any problems. Thanks so much for any info!!!

Have a great day!

Amanda

tamtam
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Last seen: 6 months 3 weeks ago
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Joined: 06/19/2008 - 6:35pm
Hardware removal

I have had several surgeries and on one of them they didn't bring the right tool and attached the plates together. In the cervical spine there just isn't much room. So while the plates where attached I choked on everything I ate and basically had a liquid diet for 6 months. When they attached the two together it was high enough that the joint was into the esophagus thus causing the issue. A swallow test clearly confirmed it and every surgeon I spoke with said that they should always remove the old hardware and then place new hardware. Also your surgeon may want to check the stability of that level and will have a clean look with the hardware gone. I can tell you through all the surgeries they have also removed the old hardware except on that occasion. Once you are fused at a given level the hardware really isn't needed any longer, but they just leave it, if it isn't causing any issues and not put someone through the risk of surgery just to take out.

If they are going to address a level higher and lower are they using hardware that will cover your fused levels? Which that could be another reason.

Good luck on surgery and keep us posted on how it goes.