Rod Removal

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Anonymous (not verified)
Title: Member
Rod Removal

Hello again am Cathy from Buffalo I love this site everyone has been so nice and can understand what I am going thru I just would like some more feedback. In 1998 I had a car accident and broke 3 vertebae, I had a spinal fusion and they used bone from my hip they put two rods in. I has pretty good for along time I had pain my doc was great and it was managed I worked lived my life. My mother was ill for 8 years I lived with her and took care of her and the last two years I was with her 24/7 Full time everything and back the last year I was with really started to hurt under my rods it hurt all the time!! My Mom past in Jan and thought not doing so much my back would get better but it got worse, I tried the usually stuff and then had a steroid shot which caused severe muscle spasms and the day after I had it I fell down the stairs so the last 6 weeks have been hell, my doc said our last step is take the rods out and now waiting on my surgery is. ANYWAYS can anyone tell me there experiences with rod removal good or bad. My doc tells me its not as bad as putting them in but I would like to hear from people who have had it done. PLEASE email me at . Thank you in advance!! Grin :D

Bruce's picture
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Title: Member
Joined: 06/19/2008 - 7:57pm
I had my hardware (rods and

I had my hardware (rods and pedicle screws) removed at only 7 months after my fusion surgery because one of the screws was causing me pain. Happily removal cured my problem and I now life a back pain free life. If you click on the link below you can read more about my story

Regarding the actual removal procedure, the hardware can be removed by minimally invasive procedures in which case the patient can be up and about the same day, or by more major open surgery (which is more common). As just mentioned, the more common way of removal seems to be by major surgery, going through a similar sized scar and cutting through the same muscles as for the original fusion surgery. This sounds a little scary but actually it is usually far easier than the initial fusion surgery experience. In my case I was up walking the following day and back at work after two weeks, but there is still a significant rehabilitation period to rebuild core muscle strength again.

Talk to your doctor about whether he is proposing a minimally invasive removal technique or not. He may prefer a more open technique as it would give him an opportunity to explore the original fusion area and see if there are any other possible reasons for your pain, e.g. scar tissue, bone spurs, etc.

All the best to you.

(also sent by email)

Keep positive!

Bruce old timer here and ex-moderator