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Old 07-10-2003, 03:57 PM   #1
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Location: Peru, IL, USA
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Ptweety HB User
Red face Removal of hardware after lumbar fusion

I have had a lumbar fusion on L3-L4 with just bone graft, but it rejected, but L4-L5,L5-S1 is fused with a cage and bone graft from my hip and cadaver bone, I am having pains and numbness where the screws and rods are and it is going down my legs,
Now they want to remove the hardware because they think this is what is causing the pain. This is the first step they will try, if the pain still persists the Dr. will think about fusing L3-L4 with cage and Protein injection that bonds instead of using your own bone or cadaver bone.
Has anyone ever went through this procedure with removing the hardware?
Thanks
tweety

 
Old 07-10-2003, 04:24 PM   #2
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wbaker68 HB User
Post

Hang around here, there are a couple people here who have had hardware removal and some that are thinking that is going to be the case in short time.

Good luck and keep checking in.



------------------
Auto Accident Aug 1988
L3-4 disectomy 1989
L3-4 now re-herniated
L4-5 DDD
L5-S1 herniated
5/14--trial stimulator implant(went well enough for full implant)
6/11/03--full implant(medtronic)
Hopefully to hold on for ADR
__________________
Auto Accident Aug 1988
L3-4 disectomy 1989
L3-4 now re-herniated
L4-5 DDD
L5-S1 herniated
5/14--trial stimulator implant(went well enough for full implant)
6/11/03--full implant(medtronic)
Hopefully to hold on for ADR

 
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Old 07-10-2003, 05:14 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Peru, IL, USA
Posts: 7
Ptweety HB User
Post

wbaker68
Thank you for the reply, I will keep watching and checking.
I have had 2 lumbar laminectomies, 1 fusion on the lower back, and a neck fusion on c4-c5, no problems with the neck. The lumbar was L3-S1 in 96 and 99 and neck fusion in 97. Had discectomy, mylegrams, epiderals, they were terrible. I am only 35!!

This is what I feel like!

 
Old 07-10-2003, 07:15 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: OK USA
Posts: 229
L5S1 HB User
Post

Hi Ptweety

I had partial hardware removal (right side) in March. It had made a big difference since it was removed.

Please let me know if you have any specific questions regarding the hardware removal.

I hope you have a good evening [img]http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/t_up.gif[/img]

---------------------
Spondylolisthesis - level 2 L5/S1
Pars Defect
End Plate Separation
2 Nerve Root Blocks (no effect)
L5/S1 Posterior Fusion with hardware (no BAK cages due to lack of disk space) 08/02
Right side hardware removed due to loose screw and rod rubbing against facet joint - 03/03
Can now say I am better than prior to the fusion!!!!
__________________
Spondylolisthesis - level 2 L5/S1
Pars Defect
End Plate Separation
2 Nerve Root Blocks (no effect)
L5/S1 Posterior Fusion with hardware (no BAK cages due to lack of disk space) - August 2002
Right side hardware removed due to loose screw and rod rubbing against facet joint - March 2003
Sciatica returned 8/03 - Tried Neurontin and Elavil - Eased sciatica but could not tolerate medicine.
11/03 MRI of cervical and thorasic spine

 
Old 07-11-2003, 05:07 PM   #5
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backbone1 HB User
Talking

i have had 4 lamenectomies, 1 discogram, 2 milograms and finally a complete back fusion from t7 down to the sacrum. i had recently asked my doctor if i could havethe hardware removed, as it is still causing much pain. i had one of the screws removed in my right hip last year, butthe rods are painful, still on a lot of medication after 2 yrs of post surgery. i would like some feed back from some one who has had hardware removed. my doc appt is on july 24th and would really like to know if anyone feels better after this procedure.
thanks!

------------------

 
Old 07-11-2003, 07:15 PM   #6
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(male)
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: OK USA
Posts: 229
L5S1 HB User
Post

Hi backbone1 and welcome to the board

The removal of the hardware has made a huge difference on my back but I had only one level fusion. You had more extensive surgery than I did and your outcome of hardware removal maybe different. What are some of your symptoms? I had continued swelling and extreme muscle spasm whenever I performed any physical activity. Also, the best indication I had hardware problem is when I got into the pool.

I will be glad to discuss any specific issues you might have regarding my experience with hardware removal.

Have a good evening [img]http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/t_up.gif[/img]

---------------------
Spondylolisthesis - level 2 L5/S1
Pars Defect
End Plate Separation
2 Nerve Root Blocks (no effect)
L5/S1 Posterior Fusion with hardware (no BAK cages due to lack of disk space) 08/02
Right side hardware removed due to loose screw and rod rubbing against facet joint - 03/03
Can now say I am better than prior to the fusion!!!!

__________________
Spondylolisthesis - level 2 L5/S1
Pars Defect
End Plate Separation
2 Nerve Root Blocks (no effect)
L5/S1 Posterior Fusion with hardware (no BAK cages due to lack of disk space) - August 2002
Right side hardware removed due to loose screw and rod rubbing against facet joint - March 2003
Sciatica returned 8/03 - Tried Neurontin and Elavil - Eased sciatica but could not tolerate medicine.
11/03 MRI of cervical and thorasic spine

 
Old 07-11-2003, 09:32 PM   #7
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 70
mmglobal HB User
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I know three people over at MGH who continued to suffer after fusion, then had hardware removal a year or so later. All three got substantial relief from their revision surgery.

Good luck!

Mark

 
Old 07-12-2003, 12:54 AM   #8
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Powell,Tn
Posts: 41
scissorhands HB User
Post

Wow, I just recently had my hardware removed (two rods,four screws)still have two cages. I was having right leg pain to the point that I was unable to sit, lay down or stand...Had my harware removed and had what is called a AGF fusion...The moment I woke up, my leg pain was gone. Sure hope you have as much success as I did. still have back pain but after four back surgeries that can be expected, at least that's what I've been told.

[This message has been edited by scissorhands (edited 07-12-2003).]
__________________
Sex on Television can't hurt you, Unless you fall off!

 
Old 07-12-2003, 08:23 AM   #9
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backbone1 HB User
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[quote]Originally posted by L5S1:
[b]Hi backbone1 and welcome to the board

The removal of the hardware has made a huge difference on my back but I had only one level fusion. You had more extensive surgery than I did and your outcome of hardware removal maybe different. What are some of your symptoms? I had continued swelling and extreme muscle spasm whenever I performed any physical activity. Also, the best indication I had hardware problem is when I got into the pool.

I will be glad to discuss any specific issues you might have regarding my experience with hardware removal.

Have a good evening [img]http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/t_up.gif[/img]

[/b][/quote]


 
Old 07-12-2003, 08:30 AM   #10
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backbone1 HB User
Cool

Hi! L5S1,
i have severe mucsle spasms outside the rod constantly.i cannot swim like i used to, as the rod moves with me, and that is a feeling that i cannot even put into words. My doc is somewhat nervous about taking the rod out, due to all the trauma in my spine. i thank u for answering my questions, and please feel free to write back and let me know how you are feeling. much thanks and hope things go well for you.

------------------

 
Old 07-12-2003, 11:57 AM   #11
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(male)
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: OK USA
Posts: 229
L5S1 HB User
Post

Hi Backbone1

The feeling of your back when swimming is very hard to describe and I also had a hard time explaining it to my doctor. I do not know if the weightlessness of being in the water is moving the hardware into positions which causes the spasms. In my case, I had a loose screw and believe the weightlessness was causing the rods to move the screw. My doctor sent me to a chiro to check if I had a facet joint problem and after a couple weeks treatment the chiro believed it was also a hardware problem and referred me back to my doctor. The doctor immediately setup a appointment the week later to have the right side hardware removed. The problem with diagnosing hardware problem is there are not any good tests to detect the problem and doctors do not want to perform exploratory surgeries. I was very apprehensive about having the surgery because I thought the doctor would not find the problem. When I awoke from the surgery, I immediately asked what the doctor found and they said I did have a loose screw. After I returned to the doctor's office for my first xray after surgery, the doctor showed me how the screw had rounded out inside the vertabrae. He also said the xrays prior to the hardware removal did not reflect the loose screw because the hardware was blocking the image. I was only 7 months post-op when I had the hardware removed and you are 2 years post-op. The doctor should be asking questions why you are still in pain and find a way to treat the problem.

I hope you can convince your doctor to try examining a hardware problem on you.

Best Wishes [img]http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/t_up.gif[/img]

---------------------
Spondylolisthesis - level 2 L5/S1
Pars Defect
End Plate Separation
2 Nerve Root Blocks (no effect)
L5/S1 Posterior Fusion with hardware (no BAK cages due to lack of disk space) 08/02
Right side hardware removed due to loose screw and rod rubbing against facet joint - 03/03
Can now say I am better than prior to the fusion!!!!


__________________
Spondylolisthesis - level 2 L5/S1
Pars Defect
End Plate Separation
2 Nerve Root Blocks (no effect)
L5/S1 Posterior Fusion with hardware (no BAK cages due to lack of disk space) - August 2002
Right side hardware removed due to loose screw and rod rubbing against facet joint - March 2003
Sciatica returned 8/03 - Tried Neurontin and Elavil - Eased sciatica but could not tolerate medicine.
11/03 MRI of cervical and thorasic spine

 
Old 07-12-2003, 12:48 PM   #12
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 7
backbone1 HB User
Cool

i had the screw in my right hip removed approx. 1 year ago, and still have pain. after talking to my primary care doc, he said if removing the hardware does not make a 30-40% difference, than i should not do it. my surgeon is one of the best in arizona, and after taking a cat scan we shall see! i am hoping for the best. i am sure that all of you know what chronic pain is, and i hope that we can all overcome this problem. my best to you and hope you feel better!
thanks

------------------

 
Old 07-13-2003, 09:32 AM   #13
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 7
backbone1 HB User
Exclamation

hi ls51!
i am concerned about removing the hardware due to the recovery after the surgery. after i had the fusion, i was in a body cast for 6 months and i still cannot sit or stand for longer than 20-30 minutes at at time. i cannot turn to my left side without pain, and have to literally hold on to my husband to turn to the left. i have a hard time standing from a sitting position, and hope that if my doc will remove the hardware i will be able to lead a more normal life. can you please tell me how you felt after your surgery and the recoup time it took?
thanks!

 
Old 07-14-2003, 08:55 PM   #14
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Location: Peru, IL, USA
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Ptweety HB User
Post

Hello all,
Thank you for responding to my posting. It sounds like alot of improvement after the hardware was removed. I hope the same for me. I do have L3-L4 still bulged. I am just hoping I don't have to get that fused too! [img]http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/rolleyes.gif[/img]
I will let everyone know after I get the hardware removed what kind of response I get. How long were you laid up after this was done?
Is it really painful after the surgery?

Thanks again every1
Ptweety

 
Old 07-14-2003, 09:43 PM   #15
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Powell,Tn
Posts: 41
scissorhands HB User
Post

Ptweety: I can honestly say that after having my hardware removed, it was the least painful of all my surgergies. Good-luck and hope this surgery gives you the relief you need.

------------------
Back surgery (laminectomy L4) 1996
Back surgery (laminectomy L5S1) 1999
Back surgery (rods, screws, cages,fusion) 2001
Back surgery (hardware removal, more fusion) 2003
__________________
Sex on Television can't hurt you, Unless you fall off!

 
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