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Hardware Removal?????

davebrddavebr Posts: 13
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:46 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Just a question. I see people that are having their hardware removed and always have wondered why? Are their problems? Just curious.

I had a S1/l5 fusion in December 2008 and have had no problems other than some stiffness now and then. Pretty much do everything and more than I did before.



  • Our hardware is meant to stay in our bodies for life and become part of us. Some people end up with pain due to loose screws or hardware shifting and must have it removed, but it's a small percentage.

    I've been having neck pain and recently had an MRI and CT scan to check my levels above my fusion, as well as my hardware. The hardware is as steady as can be and looks great, so there's little to no chance I'll ever have to have my cervical hardware removed.

  • I had l4,l5 fusion and I had my screws loosen....which was cause stabbing pains just at the point) so had all removed(but I was fused good when had done)

    As cathy stated its rare....I think ppl should not remove it unless they have had test to show that its the hardware causing problem....

    I have seen more ppl having it removed also but perhaps they are having issues with it .....

    neck,bone spurs pain started 04, back issues and fusion l4,l5 06~hardware removed.
    good few yrs. 09 pain sharp, numbness feet,legs, diagnosed fibro, neurop. legs.lung issues.
    daily goal do good thing for someone.
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  • HI Dave,

    Some members following a fusion will still have issues. often times the surgeons will offer to remove the hardware as it maybe the source of the additional issues. For some removing the hardware is the issues while others the hardware turned out not to be the issue. I myself have had hardware removed but rather from a rejection with it. Following my cervical fusion I developed fevers that were unexplainable so the answer was to go look around the hardware for a issue while there the decision was to remove the hardware. Within hours of the hardware being removed the fevers stopped so one can only speculate that it was indeed the hardware causing the issue. Once you are fused there is no need for the hardware, but if it is causing no issues there is no need to go through a surgery that could cause complications so most surgeons just leave it be. But each individual is different, but I would bet more hardware stays than is removed.
  • Hi Dave,

    I actually just had my hardware removed on June 2, 2010 from my two level fusion (L3-L5) that I had in June of 2009. After my fusion surgery my leg pain was so much better, but within a couple of month it started to return. I was off work for 6 months and three days back into work, the pain just escalated. So, they took out the hardware. Let me tell you when I got my hardware in the mail from the hospital I about died to see what it actually looked like. The screws and bars were HUGE it was like something you would buy at Home Depot. In any event, apparently a screw was coming loose. Now, after the hardware has been removed my left leg feels great and my right leg is worse than ever. Just had another MRI on Monday to see what is going on. I think typically hardware is removed when they feel there is a problem with the hardware. My friend had hers removed, and she has been fabulous ever since and has even ran some 5ks!
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,111
    I had my surgical hardware removed after I had shattered 2 screws and the plate was backing out putting pressure on my esophagus. The hardware was causing terrible arm pain along with excessive amount of weight loss. I dropped 40 lbs. in 3 months. doc said due to he hardware. When the hardware was taken out the weight came back on and my arms quit hurting
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  • I am having my hardware removed on 8/16. I have constant pain in the region where it is. Slightest bending really sets it off. Some of us have no problems with the hardware at all. I am hoping for a decline in my pain.

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