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AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:22 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Having an ALIF and then some kind of instrumentation through the back. She said since I'm young and a non-smoker she doesn't have to use screws and rods, she said something about a clamp that can be removed... Anyone heard of this? She is also using plastic cages instead of metal ones. Anyone heard of this one either? Most people I have talked to on here or read their posts have had either the front of the back... I'd like to hear the experience of someone who's had both... And maybe to know what to expect. Thanks in advance :)


  • front OR the back. Not of. Haha. It's late.
  • Hi Lo, I only had posterior surgery, so can't help there, but as far as your question about plastic cages, she is probably referring to PEEK. I have a BAK Vista cage myself, it is one of several made from PEEK. Here is a Link about it:

    Good Luck, Sue
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  • I had ALIF and PLIF. I have the titanium cages and the screws and PEEK rods. On Thursday I have the rear hardware taken out as it has done it's job and is no longer needed.

    I work a very physically demanding job, surf and generally do a lot of things that might have hurt my fusing as I was going along. I am very glad I had the rear hardware put in. It definitely provided extra stability. I took a nasty fall about two weeks post op while walking, I slipped on some little round seeds that dropped from a tree on a driveway slope...it was like walking on marbles, I did not stand a chance. I went down hard and ended up bleeding a lot from where my knee and shins caught the ground....it was tough on my back also.

    I was fully fused at 8 weeks!

    A year in now and my fusion is nice and hard and we can take the hardware out that is causing some discomfort. I have the surgery Thursday and intend walking into work on Tuesday.

    Plastic cages...dunno! They jack apart the vertebrae, remove the disc and then drop the vertebrae back down together. They then drill two holes right through the centerline of the two discs and tap the cages into these holes.

    I would wonder about the strength of plastic as far as cutting itself a thread into the bone?

    But then I am just a layman.

    Myself I am happy with the Titanium. How well tested is this plastic? Ever seen plastic stuff after a few months exposure to the elements? What about the chemical makeup of the plastic? It has Thalides and all sorts of stuff, petroleum byproduct not so....?

    Seems to me the Titanium is more inert if that is the right word.

    Just my 2 cents. I am sure your doctor has your best interests in mind, but I had not heard of plastic cages before....don't be a guinea pig.

    BTW, a clamp that can be removed, still will require a surgery so what is the difference? The only thing about the screws is the ability of the surgeon....I have seen so many pictures of $hitty installations, screws at angles etc etc....and some people have their screw break the vertebra......I don't know lo419, it is your call....I hope a lot of people chime in and help out with their experiences.

    I am sure you will find many did not have the rear hardware, and many who had Titanium cages.

    All the best and good luck.

    Do tons of research.

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