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Rod Removal After Spinal Fusion Surgery



  • I am 45 yrs old and had the Harrington rods put in my back for a 56 degree curve in upper back in 1982. In 2000 I started to get severe pain in back. Surgeon told me that in some cases as long as fusions are strong they take rods out to help pain. When he went in to remove mine he saw that they had broke while inside. Since then I have heard of many people having the same problem that the rods break, especially the older Harrington style, or that they start to shift with age. Women naturally start leaning forward in the upper back and shoulders as they age which also affects the rods. Now my lower back has curved to a 40 degree curve which is messing up the balance of my hips and severe pain in lower back. Does anyone out there have a similar problem with a second curve later in life?
  • I also had the rods and screws removed and it helped a lot! The screw was right between my shoulder blades and would get irritated if I sat in a metal chair or some car seats because it would rub and pinch. My original scoliosis surgery was in 1982 and after three years the doctor said he could make a 3 inch incision to remove the screw if it bothered me. I never did it but move ahead to 2000 I started having severe pain in back. Went to surgeon and he said a lot of people have them removed because of pain, especially the old Harrington rods like I had. In surgery the doctor found that everything had shifted (due to normal aging) and started to come apart. I was up and during normal household choirs 4 or 5 days later. It was nothing like the original surgery at all. Now my lower back has curved severely over the last year or two. Now I don't only have a lovely humpback but uneven hips and rib cage to match, great..... Has anyone else had a second curve occur after scoliosis surgery? To the post with severe pain, I have it too, I know it's hard to get any excerise done without pain but I have found it's worse if I just lay around, ALOT worse. If I can just walk the driveway or do a routine of housework it makes it a bit better. I also lost my husband and daughter within 6 months and depression hit me hard. That also makes the pain worse, like your not depressed enough being in pain, but talk to your Dr. aBout getting you treatment for the depression and it might lessen the pain a bit also. Hope you find comfort:)
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  • D SanchezDD Sanchez Posts: 1
    edited 08/13/2015 - 5:35 AM
    i had a spinal fusion december, 2014. it was soon discovered that 2 of the screws on bottom we're not placed properly and we're rubbing against a vein. they had to remove 4 screws and replace them. i changed doctors and went to a dr. that uses the mazor robotics system and less evasive incisions. i was scared to death because my first surgery was very painful. so 7 months after my first surgery, i had the second surgery. this surgery was not half as painful. i was so thankful. i had to stay 1 night in the hospital. i did not require morphine. i did take pain medication for about 1 week, but not as often as on label. you still have to be careful about bending and twisting, but not as much as the first time. if you have to have this done, don't be afraid as i was, it was a breeze compared to the first surgery.

    welcome to spine-health
    please click on link for helpful information! ~spine-health moderator, savage
  • Hi j am looking getting mine redone, I have had it in since 2002, I was 15 at the time. I'm nearly 30 now. And it is so painful in between my shoulder blades. I'm in chronic pain all the time. But was told that it needs replacing every 15 years for successful fusion.
    Emily Betterridge
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