Welcome! I had my hardware removed a year after fusion surgery, I was in the hospital 3 days, the recovery wasn't any where near as bad as the fusion was, they didn't do anything but removed the hardware and put in some more BMP around my spine, no moving things around like the first one. I was xmas shopping 10 days after I got out of hopsital. I used the motorized cart the store had but I was shopping none the less.
I did have a failed fusion, so the spine did become unstable with out the hardware there but it was loose so it had to come out.
"Thru every dark corner is a door to a new light"
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I plan on having mine removed to someday. 3 day's huh ? That doesn't sound to bad..Carol you did say they put in new hardware to right ? And now it's failed. Man that stinks ! I pray I don't have to go through all that again. Time will only tell.
Have a nice day [/B][/COLOR]
Thanks for the info. One of my lower screws is twisting and making life uncomfortable, but at 7 months post op too early to remove instrumentation so it's now down to how long I can stand the pain of it moving around in there. Nice to know it's not as bad. I saw hardware removal on tv and they don't just go in there and pop it out, there is work involved so I was hoping it wasn't too bad!
Would they just take out the one screw? That might not be as extensive. My doctor wants to "snip" off the top of one hook, as it's protruding through my back and is rather painful. It hasn't broken through the skin, so he doesn't plan on doing anything until a year post-op. He makes it sounds so simple: "just snip off that one hook and shave down the rod a bit so it doesn't bother you" I'm not looking forward to it and have told him I'm not sure I even want it done. It will have to be causing me a lot of pain! And I have to get the current medical bills dealt with before I take on more!
I'm under the impression that I would go home the same day, unless they felt I needed to be observed overnight for some reason.
No mention of partial removal, my OS is basically wanting it all left in for as long as possible. I don't want to disrupt the healing process in any way, but the loose screw makes it feel like there is an ice pick shoved into my spine all the time and it is just a tad bit umpleasant! I can't do much of anything without making matters worse, so we will see how long I can hang in there!
Sorry to "Butt in" , but I was just about to post with a question regarding hardware removal.
I've had my fusion now for almost a year, and I've had a lot of nerve pain in my feet/legs. We've tried many different meds. My surgeon said I'm building up fluid around the hardware which is causing the pain. He said the fusion looks good and he wants to remove the hardware and the fluid.
My question is this: how long should I plan to be off of work? I work in a dental office directly giving patient care. I was off for 3 months after the fusion. For the removal, I had them reschedule my patients for three weeks following the surgery. Does this seem realistic?
Hi: Just thought I would mention that when I had plates and screws removed, it was *much* easier than putting them in. The surgery, of course, didn't take as long, and the pain level didn't compare to putting them in, even though it still hurts.
My hardware came out shortly after having a fusion with steffi plates and screws, and one of the screws went right through my sciatic nerve, so for months I had incredible pain. I told the dr something had to be wrong because the pain was much worse than my previous fusions, but he wouldn't listen. Finally they did an mri and saw what happened. They took everything out, but I was left with permanent nerve damage. My hardware feel out because I have severe osteoporosis, so it's a little different reason than some of the others I've read. In my case the bone just collapsed releasing the hardware into many directions.
Just an idea, but for all of you that haven't had a dexa scan yet...please get one so you'll know if you have any bone problems early. Don't wait till you think it's the right chronological time--there isn't any--back surgeries and DDD, can weaken the bone along with the other usual things that cause osteoP, and if I had known earlier I could have done something to prevent the problems I have now--spontaneous fractures--not fun because a sneeze, cough, rolling over in bed, can cause one in your spine or where ever.
Last edited by DesertBloom; 02-20-2007 at 03:28 PM.
My OS told me that the bone in that area was weak, which I thought was nice to hear AFTER he puts a screw in there. I am also dealing with nerve pain, but my OS referred me off to a Rheumatologist to deal with that. He is planning on an MRI to check for remaining nerve damage, what a nice web our back issues weaves isn't it!!
LGrove , I'm sorry for all your pain you must be going through , I never heard of them leaving the hardware in there if it's toggling loose. It can't fuse if it's in there moving around. I would get a second opinion on that one.
Hope your pain some how feel's better today .[/SIZE]
It's not sooo bad, not like the screw is litterally wobbling around in there. It is loose to the extent that it is slowly twisting, I guess is the best way to describe it. On the x-rays you can see where it is no longer pointing in the same direction as the others. It's not a great difference, but enough you can see the difference, it's funny, you can clearly see how different the threads on the screws look, and the threads on the one that is off-kilter look more vivid. The pain is more like bone pain, not nerve pain, much like my knee when it was bone on bone before I had it replaced. Strange how we get used to pain, or more sad I guess!