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Hardware Removal good or bad?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,082
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:25 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello, I had posterior spinal fusion on L4, L5, S1 2/14/08 (nine months ago today). I am 29 years old. I got the surgery because I was having chronic low back pain as a result of grade 1 spondelo. in L5. Before surgery I was very active, Basketball, running, Rock climbing, Backpacking, despite the pain. I have more pain now than before the surgery. I can't sit or stand for more than 10 minutes without severe pain. I'm also dealing with depression because I live in regret and feel no hope. I am currently living in Ecuador (Moved here 5 months after the surgery). I have been in the same condition for the last 4 months. I have seen many back specialists down here and gotten X-rays, MRIs, and other tests. They can't find anything wrong. I finally got an epidural which made me feel better for two days and then the pain returned in full force. My Dr. Here took my case before a group of Spine Specialists and they all came up with the conclusion that the Hardware is what is causing my problem. They believe that my body is rejecting the rods and screws and is causing inflammation all around them. They suggest that I have the Hardware removed this coming February. Does anyone have any suggestions for me? Has hardware removal worked for any of you? Are there dangers to it?


  • For what it's worth, I'd see about getting those films, etc., to a doc here in the States...just for a second opinion.
  • Did you have cages installed?

    Sounds like the Drs want to give your back a chance to fuse by waiting till Feb.

    If your back has fused the hardware can come out. Also when they are in there you would think the Dr can eyeball the nerves and do any decompression necessary.

    Don't give up.


    PS: My son-in-law had his hardware removed because of pain. It was a good decision.
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  • Hello Dan & welcome to spine-health.com

    Yes, I had to have mine removed and it was a huge success for me. Click on 'view my story' in my signature below to read more.

    All the best... Bruce
    Keep positive!


    ...an old timer here and ex-moderator

  • Your story sounds hopeful. Have you ever heard of a procedure called Hardware block, where they put in injection in the bone around the hardware? If it helps than it means that there is something wrong with the hardware. Also It sounds like you are ok with not being back to 100%. I was really still hoping for this. My body is screaming at me to be active again. Have you heard of people after spinal fusion doing manual labor or competing in long distance running races again? I was told by my surgeon that I would be able to do these things again, but the more I research it sounds like no one can do these things again. I am coming back to the states Dec. 13th to try and figure this stuff out. Have you heard of any really good Doctor's names in CA. Who could check me out? Thanks for your response
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