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I was in a bad rollover accident in 2007 and broke my L1-L3 vertebrae. I underwent surgery to fuse these together and had 2 rods w/ screws placed along both sides of my spine. I have always had pain off and on, prominently in the winter, but for a few months now I have been enduring excruciating pain at times, where it brings me to tears and I can't stand up straight to walk. My chiropractor feels my only option is to see if I can get the Rods removed, because my body is forced above and below to take on the extra pressure of movement, and is breaking down. 

Has anyone else gone through removal of rods and screws this long after the initial surgery? May 5th was 11 years. I am tired of the pain. I don't like to take medicine, but take handfuls of Aleve, Ibuprofen, aspirin daily to take the edge off, of which they really don't help. I can't sleep, I can't sit, I can't stand...Its truly miserable at this point.I just had exrays done, and there doesn't seem to be anything loose to cause the pain. 

I would love to hear from someone who has gone through removal this late in the game. I am fearful of being paralyzed or something going horribly wrong.

I already have numbness in my legs, and shooting pains that come and go, so i know my nerves are being pinched or pressured somehow.

thank you for your help~



  • I had an extension to a previous fusion (9 yrs previous). Dr was going to replace old hardware with the new but couldn't get the screws out. They were really stuck in the bone. 

    I can truly empathise with you. 

  • Hi,

    My partner had her rods and screws removed a few years after L5/S1 fusion surgery. A couple of years later, the fusion snapped. The broken surfaces have rubbed, bone on bone, ever since, causing her excruciating pain which has left her permanently disabled. She cannot have it reinstated because the original surgery and subsequent removal has chewed up her bones too much.

    The metalwork is there to provide permanent support. Think very carefully about having it removed.

    L5-S1 herniation. Both knee meniscus tear. L4-5 herniation - 2 x nerve block injections. L4-5 discectomy. L1-2 nerve block injection. L4-5 reherniation - TLIF fusion. 2016: L1-2 and L5-S1 retrolistheses and multiple facet joint degeneration.
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  • My orthopedic surgeon has told me the rods and screws are permanent. No offense to your chiropractor, but I you think you need to see an orthopedic doctor for further advice. It is true the adjacent discs (above and/or below) could be breaking down, necessitating further fusions. This happened to me with my cervical spine fusion.

    Good luck to you!

  • Sheri76Sheri76 Michigan Posts: 646

    Are you currently getting treatment from a chiropractor for your spine?

    I’ve had L4-5 fused with laminectomy back in 2015, and I don’t think I’d have a chiropractor manipulate any part of my spine again. I have nothing against the good chiropractors out there, but tweaking a spine that has been fused doesn’t sound good to me.

  • I had interior/ posterior L4,L5,and S1 fusion 6 months ago,and i was never told that the hardware could be removed.I still have a significant amount of pain but iit was no longer in my leg until i recently fell and now my lower back is continuously hurting and its more severe, even with pain medicine.I would like to ask if anyone would know and/or experienced this and what kind of complications could i have caused by falling?? Please any info would be greatly appreciated

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